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Report: Obamacare Sign-Ups Top 8 Million

Courtesy: AP

Courtesy: AP

According to a new report, 13 million people have enrolled in Obamacare throughout the entire course of the enrollment season.  Administration officials are touting the new numbers as a demonstration that the Affordable Care Act is working.  The numbers surpass original estimates.  Of the enrollees, 28% were in the 18-34 age bracket, a major focus of administration officials since the legislation’s inception.  Critics of Obamacare say that there is no data available on how many have actually paid their premium.  Opponents also claim that there is no data available on how many were already ensured, a number they believe is higher than Health and Human Services’ estimates.

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About 13 million people got coverage under Obamacare during the first open enrollment season of the Affordable Care Act, enough for administration officials to be confident that every state’s insurance market will be stable going into 2015.

The latest enrollment data filled out the demographic small print that was lacking in President Barack Obama’s mid-April announcement that enrollment in the exchanges had passed 8 million – exceeding goals and expectations for an open enrollment season that got off to a disastrous start.

“At this historic moment, we’re one big step closer to finally realizing the president’s dream of an America where there truly is opportunity for all,” outgoing Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said on a call with reporters.

The report said 8 million had signed up in the state and federal exchanges, and that Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program enrollment had grown by at least 4.8 million since October. Many were newly insured.

About 28 percent of the exchange enrollees were in the 18 to 34 age bracket, with large numbers of younger people signing up at the last minute. Most exchange enrollees got subsidies.

Mike Hash, director of the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services, said the numbers are strong enough to prevent dramatic pressure to increase premiums.

“Premiums will be stable and the risk pool is sufficiently large and varied to support that kind of pricing… in every state,” Hash said, a conclusion he said was based on HHS data and outside information.

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