The number of people enrolled in health coverage through the insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act is now 11.3 million, topping what HHS had predicted for the third open-enrollment period with weeks to go before the deadline.
Three-quarters of the enrollees are from the 38 states that use the HealthCare.gov enrollment platform, and the rest are in states using their own marketplaces, accord to HHS.
Open enrollment ends Jan. 31. Those who want coverage beginning Feb. 1 must sign up by Jan. 15.
The Obama administration predicted last year that 10 million people would be enrolled by the end of this year, which is less than half what the Congressional Budget Office once predicted for this year.
CMS acting Administrator Andy Slavitt said in a conference call with reporters Thursday that officials are pleased with the growing number of young people enrolling in marketplace plans.
People younger than 35 make up 35% of the total number of consumers who enrolled or were automatically re-enrolled in a plan and more than 41% of all new customers, according to HHS.
Kevin Counihan, CEO of health insurance marketplaces for the CMS, said the increased penalty for not having health insurance this year has been strong motivator.
People who go without coverage in 2016 will have to pay 2.5% of their annual household income or $695 per adult and $347.50 per child without insurance, whichever is greater.