On Thursday, President Obama announced on a call with volunteers that the number of Americans who have enrolled in health insurance plans under Obamacare has hit six million.
With several days left to go before open enrollment ends on March 31, the administration has met its target. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that Obamacare enrollment would hit six million by the end of its enrollment period. Although the CBO initially projected a seven million enrollment figure, that number was revised down after technological issues plagued the insurance marketplaces’ websites this past fall.
Just ten days ago, the Obama administration announced that enrollments had hit five million — meaning that the pace of enrollment has significantly picked up recently, and a million Americans enrolled in less than two weeks. The White House has always anticipated a last-minute surge in enrollment, since previous efforts to enroll Americans in government-run health care programs have demonstrated that people typically wait until the last minute to sign up.
Obamacare enrollment is frequently compared to the Bush administration’s effort to enroll seniors in Medicare Part D. That prescription drug program, widely considered to be a success now that it’s fully implemented, also struggled with initial website glitches. Medicare Part D ended up falling slightly short of its CBO projection, hitting 70 percent of that goal by the end of its enrollment period.
Although open enrollment technically ends in four days, there will be a few more weeks for some Americans to sign up. On Wednesday, the administration announced that the people who have experienced technological difficulties will be allowed to complete their enrollment in April.
This post has been updated to provide additional details about enrollment figures.