Obamacare tops 6 million signups

NEW YORK (TIP):
More than 6 million people have signed up for Obamacare, as a crush of people raced to get health insurance before the March 31 deadline. President Obama announced the milestone Thursday, March 27, in a call with enrollment counselors and outreach volunteers, who are undertaking an intense marketing drive in the final days of open enrollment. There were more than 1.5 million visits to HealthCare.gov and more than 430,000 calls to the call centers on Wednesday.

Those who’ve started the application by next Monday but are unable to finish because of technical issues will receive more time to complete the process, officials have said. Reaching 6 million is a symbolic victory for the Obama administration following the botched launch in October. It is short of the initial goal of 7 million, which was based on a projection by the Congressional Budget Office and adopted by the administration. But it shows considerable gains from the first month when just 106,000 people had signed up.

Last month, the CBO revised its projection down to 6 million because of the rocky initial rollout. Things were looking pretty grim when Obamacare launched on October 1. The exchange websites didn’t work, and internal notes showed that only 6 people signed up initially. The Obama administration had to bring in a SWAT team of tech experts to overhaul the federal exchange site.

What a difference six months makes. More than 5 million Americans have selected policies on the state and federal exchanges, with the final push coming before open enrollment closes March 31. Sign-ups are nearing the Congressional Budget Office projection that 6 million people would enroll for 2014.

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