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7.1 Million Enrolled, Beating Estimates (Update: Now 8 Million)

(update #2: 4/17) Today Obama announced a startling 8 million people have enrolled in ACA plans which now well exceeds the administration’s original goal of 7 million. 35% of signups were under 35 years old and 28% were age 18-34. Young adults are a key demographic needed to keep premiums low for next year.

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(update #1: 4/10) More than 7.5 million people are expected to sign up for private health coverage this year under the new healthcare law, the top U.S. health official said on Thursday.

The number, which surpasses the 7.1 million total Obama announced just last week, includes 400,000 people allowed to sign up for private health plans through a federal marketplace after a March 31 deadline because they had not been able to complete their enrollment applications on time.

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(original article: 4/1) An exuberant White House today held a press conference announcing that 7.1 million people signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The goal lowered to just 6 million by the Congressional Budget Office after massive computer problems with in October yet the totals exceed even the original goals.

“It’s an amazing achievement,” said former White House adviser Chris Jennings, who helped direct the White execution of the new law until he returned to the private sector recently.

The tally is based on the number of people who enrolled for coverage by Monday’s deadline through the new federal insurance marketplace operating in three dozen states. It also includes people who enrolled in 14 state-run marketplaces as of the deadline or, in the case of a few states, by last weekend.

At least 9.5 million previously uninsured people have gained coverage through a combination of the exchanges, private insurance, Medicaid and some other new provisions of the law. The tally draws from a review of state and federal enrollment reports, surveys and interviews with insurance executives and government officials nationwide.

Here’s some initial key stats, although precise figures may not be available for months:

  • 7.1 million people have signed up for health coverage on the new marketplaces
  • More than 27% were previously uninsured, based on a February study by McKinsey & Co. and March projections from the nonprofit Rand Corp.
  • At least 4.5 million were previously uninsured adults and took advantage of the state’s Medicaid programs, according to Rand’s survey data.
  • An additional 3 million young adults joined their parent’s plans until they turn 26 as part of a new extension of the law.
  • About 9 million people have bought health plans directly from insurers, instead of using the marketplaces based on Rand’s study.
  • Less than 1 million were dropped from their carrier in 2013 because their plan didn’t meet the standards of the new law and they didn’t buy new insurance in 2014.

Even in what was essentially a victory speech, Obama stated “The bottom line is this: Under this law, the share of Americans with insurance is up and the growth of health-care costs is down, and that’s good for our middle class and that’s good for our fiscal future,” he said, with Vice President Biden at his side. “And there’s no good reason to go back.”

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