Despite the difficult and broken start the Healthcare.gov website got off to in October, the Affordable Care Act (AKA "Obamacare") is now quickly becoming effective, providing millions of Americans with access to health insurance.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today reported Affordable Care Act's latest numbers, boasting that nearly 2.2 million people have signed up for health insurance under the program as of December 28, 2013. With the Healthcare.gov site's technical problems largely resolved by December, that month accounted for a full 1.8 million of those new sign-ups, through the federal website and individual state-sponsored sites.
“Americans are finding quality affordable coverage in the marketplace, and best of all, because coverage began on New Year’s Day, the promise and hope of the Affordable Care Act is now a reality,” said Kathleen Sebelius, secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Our outreach efforts have ramped up, so whether it’s through public service announcements, events, our champions or other means, we are doing all we can to find, inform and enroll those who can benefit from the Marketplace. There is still plenty of time for you and your family to sign up in a private plan of your choice, so visit HealthCare.gov to learn more and sign up now.”
Along with the enrollment information, the HHS today provided some of the first demographic information for the Affordable Care Act. Around 30% of those who have signed up for health insurance via the federal or a state website have been age 34 or younger and nearly one quarter (24%) of those 2.2 million people are between the age of 18 and 24. A large majority of those signed up through the program (79%) are receiving some type of financial assistance for their healthcare insurance.
Despite a big December for the program, Obamacare's slow ramp-up has left many Americans with a negative perception of the healthcare reform law. A Gallup poll released last week showed that 48% of U.S. adults believe the Affordable Care Act will make eventually make U.S. healthcare worse, while a majority (54%) say that they generally disapprove of the legislation.