Approximately 3 million Americans have gained access to health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, according to new data released Friday by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The new numbers are a positive sign for the Obama administration and the heatlh care law, which saw a surge in December as the Jan. 1 enrollment deadline neared. As of Dec. 28, nearly 2.2 million people were estimated to have enrolled for health insurance through Healthcare.gov.
With the addition of nearly 1 million sign-ups in about a month, the Obama administration is seeing progress after the disasterous rollout of the federal health exchange -- but the number will still fall short of HHS' ambitious goal. "Success looks like at least 7 million people having signed up by the end of March 2014," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told NBC News last September. The White House has since played down the importance of reaching that benchmark.
HHS has yet to release specific numbers based on demographics, key figures that supporters and critics alike have used to measure the law's success. At the start of 2014, young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 made up only a quarter of new enrollees--a figure that falls short of the 40% mark the Obama administration was hoping for.
"As our outreach efforts kick into even higher gear, we anticipate these numbers will continue to grow, particularly as we reach even more uninsured young adults so that they know that new options and new ways to help eligible individuals pay for their premium are now available, thanks to the Affordable Care Act," Marilyn Tavenner of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services wrote in a blog post Friday.