The centers for Medicaid and Medicare services have announced that over 500,000 people have selected health plans under Obamacare during the first open enrollment period for 2016, using the official site — Healthcare.gov — to do so. Over 1.2 million people have thus far applied.
Healthcare.gov is the main hub for getting insurance plans under president Obama’s Affordable Care Act. 38 states opted to use this system in lieu of creating their own health insurance marketplaces. Out of all 543,000 people who enrolled, approximately two thirds were re-enrolling to keep previous coverage, while the remaining third were enrolling to get new coverage.
According to USA Today, Charles Gaba, the man who runs ACAsignups.net, says that it’s “hard to say what it means yet.” The more telling dates, he adds, will be December 15th — the cutoff date for anyone desiring to be covered starting on January 1st, 2016, and during the final weeks of January, which are the final enrollment period for anyone wishing to get coverage for 2016.
It’s a solid start and I’m pleased with the consumer engagement we’ve seen over this last week. Our partners were ready to work, and people were ready to sign up. We know we have 11 more weeks to go and a lot of hard work still to do.
Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell said, in a blog post, “It’s a solid start and I’m pleased with the consumer engagement we’ve seen over this last week. Our partners were ready to work, and people were ready to sign up. We know we have 11 more weeks to go and a lot of hard work still to do.”
The administration’s estimate is that 10 million people, overall, will sign up for healthcare plans this year, exceeding by just a bit last year’s number of slightly over the nine million people who registered. President Obama himself has said that it will become increasingly difficult over time to find and enroll people who have not enrolled in the bill’s first two years, a fact which might threaten the existence of his legacy bill.