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Friday, March 28, 2014

More Than 6 Million People Have Now Signed Up For Obamacare — Deadline Extended to April 7th (well, sort of)

Obamacare Hits 6 Million Enrolled

Nationwide — President Obama and the White House have announced that more than 6 million people have signed up for Obamacare (also known as the Affordable Healthcare Act), meaning they have enrolled in the federal and state health exchanges. The announcement was made by the President himself on a conference call with health care navigators and volunteers while he was traveling in Italy.

This is actually a big milestone for the administration, as the program has had quite a rocky start since it first launched on October 1, 2013. Initially, there were major web site problems that took weeks to fix. Secondly, there was what seemed to be a lack of interest as enrollment levels remained low. But now the numbers are exploding.

In fact, this past Wednesday alone, more than 1.5 million people reportedly visited the HealthCare.gov web site. That same day, Marilyn Tavenner from the Medicare & Medicaid Services said that their call center received more than 400,000 calls – in just one day alone.

So are uninsured people actually buying health insurance plans?

It appears so, but the final numbers are not in. One insurance company, WellPoint, says that 80% of the people signing up at the company are new customers. A representative from the company said, “We don’t know yet if that means they were uninsured, but we believe that a lot of them are absolutely new to the system.”

Cecilia Muñoz from the Domestic Policy Council, commented, “We’re at a level that’s likely to support a healthy system. The insurers are feeling pretty good about where we are, and so are we.” She added that she feels sure that the people entering the exchanges are people who did not previously have health insurance.

The deadline has been extended… sort of

The deadline to enroll is still March 31st, but the administration has announced that they will extend the deadline to April 7th for those who have a “special” case. Those who do not have health insurance by the deadline will be required to pay a small tax penalty. For more details, interested ones should call the Health Insurance Marketplace at (800) 318-2596 or visit www.healthcare.gov

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