- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Obama administration said Wednesday that more than 1 million people had selected a health plan in the federal Obamacare marketplace through Friday.

Health and Human Services Department released the figures as part of its weekly “snapshot” of enrollment during the law’s second sign-up season, which ends Feb. 15.

About 1.3 million people had selected a plan on the federal exchange known as HealthCare.gov, which serves 37 states, since open enrollment began on Nov 15.
Just shy of half, or 48 percent, were new customers, while the rest were returning to renew coverage they picked up last year, according to HHS.

Administration officials are beefing up outreach ahead of the enrollment period’s first major deadline. People who want to be covered on Jan. 1 need to sign up by Monday.

“With less than a week left to sign up for coverage that starts January 1, we’re encouraging new and returning consumers to visit HealthCare.gov, call the call center or get in touch with a local assister by December 15,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell wrote in a blog post. “With more issuers this year, it pays to shop for the best deal.”

The agency has projected that about 9.1 million people will hold an Obamacare plan in 2015, far short of congressional estimates that put the target at 13 million enrollees.

Obamacare had about 6.7 million enrollees at the start of open enrollment last month. To reach its goals, the agency needs Americans who got covered last year to renew their coverage while bringing in millions of new customers.

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