Obamacare signups up fivefold in one month
The number of Americans who selected plans through the Obamacare exchanges surged nearly five-fold in December, administration officials said Monday.
In the most detailed accounting of activity on what began as a public relations disaster in October, officials told reporters in an upbeat teleconference that nearly 2.2 million people had completed the signup process - although glitches remain, including questions about premium payments and lost accounts - through Dec. 28.
About one quarter are ages 18 to 34 - far fewer than the 38 percent the administration had projected to keep premiums down but about what officials said they had expected at this point in the open enrollment period, which continues through mid-March.
The age breakdown, which is necessary to ensure enough healthier people to balance out those more prone to illness, who tend to be older, was similar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
But the one-month enrollment increase was even greater there: 81,320 Pennsylvanians selected coverage through the federal exchange through the end of December, a more than sevenfold increase from the month before. In New Jersey, 34,751 selected plans, up more than 10 times.
In both states, as nationally, about three-quarters of those who signed up will have their premiums subsidized by the federal government.