A total of about 12.7 million people signed up for 2-16 health insurance coverage through the government insurance exchanges, surpassing its expectations, said US Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell.
Under the Affordable Care Act called 'Obamacare,' the government began to offer subsidies for individual insurance in 2014. It also charges a penalty to Americans who do not have health insurance.
‘About 2.7 million people between the ages of 18 and 34 have enrolled in Obamacare for 2016. The percentage of new customers in that age range is higher than last year.’
The enrollment started on November 1,2015 was closed on January 31, 2016. Avalere Health said that based on these numbers, it expects 2016 year-end enrollment will be about 10.2 million, above President Barack Obama's administration's forecast of 10 million people being covered by the exchanges.
Insurers have been struggling to make money on the exchanges, where low enrollment has contributed to high per-customer overhead and has made it a riskier business for them.
In 2015, medical costs have also been an issue with many reporting that they have booked unsustainable losses on these products.
On the federally run website, HealthCare.gov, about 4 million new customers signed up for plans and another 5.6 million consumers returned to buy insurance again, said Burwell.
"In all, about 2.7 million people aged 18 to 34 signed up for the insurance. A higher percentage of these young adults were new customers this year," she said.
Andy Slavitt, who runs the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services division of the health department, said, "The enrollment numbers had surpassed the mid-point of its projection to have between 11 million and 14.1 million people signed up for 2016 health coverage at this point in the year."