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UPDATE: Final Obamacare enrollment hits 12.7M for 2016

February 4, 2016

About 12.7 million people signed up for individual health insurance or renewed policies under the Affordable Care Act, as enrollment accelerated during the final deadline week for most people to buy 2016 Obamacare coverage.

The figures include data through Feb. 1, the Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday. Some states that run their own sign-up systems extended their deadlines beyond the end of January, meaning the numbers could still increase. Last year, the U.S. initially said 11.4 million people enrolled, later upping the tally to 11.7 million.

HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell called the 2016 open enrollment season “a success” and noted that millions have gained coverage under the law.

“It is clear that marketplace coverage is a product that people do want and need,” Burwell said on a conference call with reporters.

HHS said 196,242 people in Indiana enrolled in a plan through the HealthCare.gov, including 90,546 consumers in the Indianapolis local media market.

The national number is still far short of what was once predicted. When the law was passed in 2010, the Congressional Budget Office projected enrollment would reach a total of 21 million enrollees by 2016.

The sign-ups topped the midpoint of the government’s estimate from October, when the U.S. predicted that 11 million to 14.1 million people would pick marketplace plans for 2016, the third year of Obamacare’s insurance exchanges. Investors and politicians have been tracking the weekly figures closely as an indicator of how the Affordable Care Act is faring.

Government officials had been expecting smaller coverage gains this year on the marketplaces. Burwell has previously said it would be tougher to increase enrollment this year than last, because those who remain uninsured are harder to reach.

President Barack Obama, Burwell and other administration officials gave more than 250 radio and television interviews and traveled at least 48 times to visit local sign-up events.
 

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