More than 6 million individuals have now signed up for commercial health insurance plans through the state and federal exchanges
, the Obama administration announced Thursday.
That's a significant threshold because it surpasses the estimate for total enrollment during the initial sign-up period issued by the Congressional Budget Office
President Obama is traveling in Italy, but celebrated the milestone on a phone call with thousands of outreach workers, according to administration officials. HHS was sending emails at midday with a graphic headlined “Join the 6,000,000” who have signed up for insurance.
With the enrollment window closing March 31, interest in signing up for coverage remains high. Healthcare.gov
received 1.5 million visitors on Wednesday and 430,000 individuals called a hotline seeking information about coverage, according to HHS.
Previously the CBO had projected that enrollment in private plans would reach 7 million by the end of the initial sign-up period. But it scaled back that projection after the disastrous launch of the state and federal exchanges.
Although the enrollment window closes March 31, HHS officials announced this week that anyone who had begun the enrollment process at that point will be allowed to complete their application at a later date, which means a determination on the final enrollment numbers could be weeks or months away. Follow Paul Demko on Twitter: @MHPDemko