In early October, Patrick Lamanske of Champaign, Ill., works with Amanda Ziemnisky, right, of the Champaign Urbana Public Health District office in Champaign to try to sign his wife, Ping Lamanske, left, up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act.
More than 1.1 million people enrolled in a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act's federal exchange before a Dec. 24 deadline, the White House said early Sunday.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a blog post that about 975,000 people enrolled in a plan in December alone through HealthCare.gov, the federal exchange website that was marred by a flawed rollout.
That number is about than seven times the combined total of HealthCare.gov sign-ups in both November and December. It does not include enrollments in 14 other states and the District of Columbia, which are running their own exchanges.
The state numbers are likely to provide a significant boost for overall enrollment numbers. In the days ahead of the deadline, California — one of the states running its own exchange — said more than 50,000 people had signed up in a three-day period. Still, some states running their own exchanges have struggled.
The total enrollment numbers are also likely to be far less than the Obama administration's official goal of 3.3 million sign-ups by the December deadline. The administration has also predicted that 7 million people would enroll by March 31, the deadline to enroll in health plans established by the Affordable Care Act.
The White House did not release a detailed breakdown of the enrollment numbers, which typically have been released in the middle of every month.
Tavenner said that on Dec. 23, the improved HealthCare.gov was able to handle 83,000 concurrent users.
"We are in the middle of a sustained, six-month open enrollment period that we expect to see enrollment ramp up over time, much like other historic implementation efforts we’ve seen in Massachusetts and Medicare Part D," she said.
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