The first open enrollment period closed at midnight, March 31, and before the clock ran out, 7.1 million had enrolled in a health plan, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced at an April 1 press briefing. This figure does not include updated data from the 17 state-based exchanges, or the number of applicants for health insurance that have not completed enrollment prior to closing of the open enrollment period.
Those that attempted to enroll, but were unable to complete an application because of technical problems with the Healthcare.gov website, will be allowed to finish the enrollment process.
“… I hope the fact that this seven million number has been reached allows us all to step back and look at the sweeping, positive change the law has ushered in to strengthen health security for every American as they go through life.” — Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary
Prior to the health insurance exchange launch on Oct. 1, 2013, the Congressional Budget Office projected enrollment would reach 7 million by the end of March, but later lowered this projection to 6 million after a crashing Healthcare.gov website prevented many from completing registration in October and November.
Carney called it a “good day” and noted that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which established the insurance exchanges, is successful despite serious opposition. Republicans in the House of Representatives voted dozens of times to repeal the health reform law, and Speaker Boehner pledges that Republicans will continue this effort.
“I hope you’ll ask the Speaker this,” Carney said of the GOP’s repeal efforts, “how will that effort, to repeal the law, insure Americans have access to the same quality healthcare that members of congress have?”
For those that remain uninsured, open enrollment begins again Nov.15. Special enrollment periods are available for anyone experiencing a life change such as marriage, birth of a child or a job loss.