The Obama administration announced new Obamacare numbers showing that they’ll need to sign up a whopping 1.8 million people in March to meet even their pared-down goals.
A total of 4.2 million people have selected a plan on Obamacare exchanges nationwide so far, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Obama administration has already given up meeting its original 7 million-strong enrollment goal, but the new numbers suggest it may not reach its lowered 6 million enrollment target either.
The pace of enrollment fell far in February, with 942,833 people selecting plans, down from 1,146,071 sign-ups in January. But the Obama administration had predicted that rate of enrollment would grow monthly — though HHS estimated they’d see just over one million sign-ups in January, they hoped for almost 1.3 million in February.
At this rate, it’s not likely that they’ll be able to bring in over 1.8 million in one month to meet even their diminished goal.
It seems the Obama administration is already preparing to fall short. When speaking with reporters, a spokesman for Obamacare administrator Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reportedly refused to say whether the administration expects to meet the lowered million target.
Realistically, the administration will need even more enrollments than that. Once again, HHS officials refused to reveal the number of Americans who have fully completed the enrollment process by paying their first premiums.
Though Obamacare exchanges are already behind their enrollment goals, the total number of participants is likely to drop by around 20 percent to 25 percent, the Washington Examiner’s Phil Klein warns.
The percentage of young enrollees between the age of 18 and 35 is largely unchanged since January, when the administration first revealed its problem attracting young healthy enrollees.
Though HHS had projected it would need at least 38-39 percent of Obamacare exchange participants to be between the young invincibles range of 18-35 years, enrollment for the young demographic is just 25 percent.
When the administration finally admitted its poor youth turnout in January, officials assured the public that young enrollees would surge to the exchanges last minute, but the spike has yet to materialize. Youth enrollment for February alone was just 27 percent, not nearly enough to change the overall makeup of enrollees.
Though CMS and HHS officals would not discuss with reporters details on the percentage of paid enrollees or ultimate enrollment targets, officials did mention that so far, 19,000 people who watched President Obama’s appearance on “Between Two Ferns” with Zach Galifianakis then went to HealthCare.gov.
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