Despite a messy roll-out and struggling online exchanges, 4 million people have enrolled in health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
The latest milestone comes as we head into the last five weeks of open enrollment for this year—it’s three million short of the enrollment goal the government aimed to hit by the end of March.
“With individuals and families enrolling in coverage every day, we continue to see strong demand nationwide from consumers who want access to quality, affordable coverage,” a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) blog post detailed. “Our outreach efforts are in full force with community partners and local officials participating in hundreds of events each week and enrollment assistors are helping more and more people enroll in coverage.”
The exchanges have been marred by technical problems since they launched in October of last year—millions struggled to even log on to the site, while healthcare companies reported receiving garbled sign-up information—but HHS has worked to reboot the system and focus on the high demand they say caused the technical difficulties.
“System error rates are low and response times are consistently less than half a second,” HHS reiterated in the blog post. “Our call center has handled more than 12 million calls so far.”
The state and federal exchanges aimed to enroll 7 million people by the end of next month. Last week, Vice President Joe Biden said enrollment wasn’t likely to meet that number, but that it would be a good start if 5 to 6 million enrolled.
“We may not get to 7 million, but if we get to 5 or 6 million that’s a hell of a start,” he said.