With four days left to go until the official end of the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period, President Obama announced 6 million people have signed up for coverage.
The president made the announcement on a conference call while in Italy with health-care navigators and volunteers. The latest figure hits the administration’s revised goal for year one of the law. The administration’s initial goal was to have 7 million people enrolled, with 2.7 million between the ages of 18 and 34. This figure was revised down by the Congressional Budget Office and mentioned by Vice President Joe Biden in mid-February.
On Wednesday, the White House announced an unofficial extension of the sign-up deadline for those struggling to sign up for coverage on Healthcare.gov by March 31.
The Washington Post first reported that people experiencing issues enrolling would be able to check a box on the federal exchange site to extend their personal open enrollment period.
The demographics of the 6 million enrollees are not yet known. The last breakdown was reported was in early March, when 4.2 million had selected plans. At that point, 25% were between the ages of 18 and 34.
The latest figures include everyone who has selected a plan, meaning they may or may not have yet paid their first month’s premium. The insurance industry typically considers a person enrolled when that first payment comes in.
The ACA mandates that every individual in the country has to have insurance by the end of open enrollment period, or they will face a fine of $95 a year or 1% of their annual income for failing to comply.