More than 7.7 million people have enrolled in insurance plans for 2015 through HealthCare.gov or state-based exchanges, according to state and federal officials.
Another 163,000 enrolled through the federal marketplace between Jan. 2 and Jan. 9, bringing the total number to 6.7 million. In states, the tally of new and re-enrolled consumers had reached about 990,000 as of Jan. 14. HHS has estimated the exchanges would enroll 9.1 million individuals by the end of the open-enrollment period Feb. 15.
With only a month to go, states' outreach efforts are becoming even more aggressive. They are increasing their presence in communities via storefronts and mall pop-ups, officials from several state-based exchanges said during a call Wednesday organized by the advocacy group Families USA.
States are emphasizing to residents that they need to enroll by Jan. 15 for coverage effective Feb. 1 and by Feb. 15 to get 2015 coverage.
They're also increasingly warning people about the tax penalty they'll face if they fail to get coverage and educating people who got exchange coverage last year about how to fill out the 1095-A tax forms the Obama administration began sending out Monday.
Exchanges have formed high-profile partnerships to drawn attention to the messages. In New York, the exchange teamed with Marvel Entertainment to have people dressed as superheroes join outreach workers in malls.
“By adding fun elements to the program including character appearances, coloring pages for kids and collectible comic books for Marvel fans, we hope to help meet a very serious objective—getting more people enrolled in health insurance,” Jonathan Rheingold, vice president of ad sales and custom solutions for Marvel Entertainment said in a statement.
The Washington state exchange has enlisted the Seattle Seahawks, concert promoter Live Nation and Spanish-language TV network Univision.
The new tax document lists who in each household got subsidized coverage and how much the government paid each month to help with premiums. Taxpayers are then supposed to use this information to fill out Form 8962, which will be used to determine whether people received more or less assistance than they were entitled to.
“In two or three years these forms will be as well known as W2s or 1099 forms, but they are new now so we expect people to ask lots of questions,” said Richard Onizuka, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
Follow Virgil Dickson on Twitter: @MHvdickson