More than 1.1 million people have signed up for insurance through HealthCare.gov, according to information released by the Obama adminstration Sunday. The 1 million milestone came thanks to a surge in enrollments in December.
More than 975,000 people enrolled in a health care plan in December alone, seven times the number who signed up in the first two months of the federal health care exchange’s operation. Participation in the health insurance exchanges is critical to the success of the Affordable Care Act.
In a blog post on the Health and Human Services website, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner touted improvements made to the site after a disastrous rollout and credited them for the spike and predicted the numbers increase through the rest of the open enrollment period.
“We are in the middle of a sustained, six-month open enrollment period that we expect to see enrollment ramp up over time, much like other historic implementation efforts we’ve seen in Massachusetts and Medicare Part D,” Tavenner wrote.
The federal government has not yet released enrollment figures for the state exchanges that were established in 14 states. The administration initially projected that some 3.3 million people would be enrolled by the end of this year.
Sunday’s announcement also did not include any demographic information. Many young, generally healthy people will need to enroll in exchanges in order to keep costs down for everyone who participates in the program.
The deadline to sign up for insurance coverage that would begin Jan. 1 was Dec. 24, and open enrollment will conclude at the end of March.