More than 9.5 million people have signed up for 2015 individual health insurance on the new exchanges created under the national healthcare reform law, the U.S. government said on Tuesday, a number that surpasses its enrollment target for the year.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it had signed up or automatically enrolled more than 7.1 million people on its HealthCare.gov website through Jan. 16. The federally run site covers 37 states.
Another 2.4 million people selected a plan or were automatically enrolled in the other 13 states plus Washington D.C., which run their own websites. That data is through Jan. 18 for California and through Jan. 17 for the District and the other states.
“The vast majority are able to lower their costs even further by getting tax credits,” U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a statement.
The enrollment period for 2015 coverage opened on Nov. 15 and ends on Feb. 15.
Burwell set a target calling for 9.1 million people to be enrolled and up to date on premium payments by the end of 2015 through private healthcare exchanges set up under Obamacare. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has predicted 12 million enrollees for 2015.
HHS did not say how many of the 9.5 million applicants had paid their premiums and become fully enrolled.
The administration announced in April that more than 8 million people had selected 2014 plans. But by the end of last year, only 6.7 million were still enrolled.
Eighty-seven percent of federal marketplace applicants used financial assistance in selecting a plan, according to HHS.
The administration said 35 percent of federal applicants were under 35 years of age.
Fifty-eight percent, or 4.2 million people, re-enrolled from 2014 health plans, while the remainder were first-time applicants.
(Reporting by Caroline Humer and David Morgan; Editing by Chris Reese and Dan Grebler)