The Obama administration announced Thursday that Obamacare enrollment has hit 6 million thanks to a last minute surge in visits to Healthcare.gov. The White House said Healthcare.gov recorded 450,000 visits on Wednesday and logged 430,000 call center calls. Acknowledging a rocky start to enrollment, the Congressional Budget Office revised the original goal of 7 million Obamacare signups downward to 6 million earlier this year.
On Tuesday the administration did something that some supporters had been urging for months, announcing it will give a break to visitors who say they’ve tried to sign up but were unable to. Would be Obamacare enrollees will have until mid-April (April 15) to complete the sign up process, making it possible – if not highly probable- that by the end of the day, once all the numbers have been counted, the 7 million milestone will be reached and the administration will be able to declare itself a victory .
If you’re one of the people who just woke up, rolled out of bed and decided to go buy yourself a health insurance policy this weekend, you’ll want to scuttle over to Healthcare.gov and begin the enrollment process soon to be sure that you qualify for an extension. Note that logging on to the Healthcare.gov and entering your name address and other personal details is not enough – you’ll need to certify that you actually do intend to buy insurance (and yes, you really do mean it this time) by clicking a little checkbox on the application, which makes it all official. It is doubtful that anybody will count the number of people who thought they clicked the little box but didn’t, so make sure that you actually click on it not near it or next to it.
So how many people will have signed up for Obamacare by the March 31st deadline? The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that 100K QHPs a day signed up on Monday and Tuesday. (For the uninitiated, QHP stands for qualified health plan, meaning a plan that .) if you’re keeping score at home, the official QHP count during the Healthcare.gov meltdown in October was an anemic 106,000 signups – a tally which many observers believe was inflated. 100K
What does that mean? Well, it probably doesn’t mean very much. Although people will be talking about the number. The real action is yet to come when people start showing up at their doctors offices and attempt to use their. The sequel .
Then again, some critics question the validity of the official totals, arguing that a Healthcare.gov signup does not necessarily equal a signup in the real world, meaning will likely be debating exactly how many people have signed up for Obamacare for months, if not years.
Pre-Exs: The real number we should talking about (but largely aren’t) is the number of people who’ve signed up for insurance under Obamacare who would have been unable to buy insurance under the old, evil healthcare system that discriminated against people with previously existing conditions like cancer, high blood pressure and HIV/AIDS. How many people have been able to get coverage? We have no idea. And the people who do have an idea – the insurance companies who kept totals of the number of people they turned away – aren’t talking about it very much, for obvious reasons.
Cancels: The number of people who had their insurance plans cancelled by the insurers on the grounds that they did not meet the standards of the Affordable Care Act. Being a cancel can be considered a badge of honor in the gamification of the healthcare system that is Healthcare.gov.
Uncancels: The number of people who had their plans cancelled by the health insurers only to have them declared “uncancelled” by the Obama administration or their state government. Nobody really knows how many uncancels there are. Don’t ask. Yes, it will take a really long time to sort out the uncancels from the cancels and the QHPs. And you will probably want to shoot the person explaining it to you.
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