President Barack Obama announced Friday that six million Americans have signed up on Healthcare.gov for coverage that starts Jan. 1, arguing that the latest enrollment numbers means 2015 has been a successful year for the Affordable Care Act.
As of last year's Dec. 15 deadline for coverage starting Jan. 1, 3.4 million consumers had selected plans on Healthcare.gov.
In his year-end press conference, Obama said that healthcare prices have grown at their lowest levels in five decades, 17 million more Americans have gained coverage since the implementation of the ACA, and the number of new customers on Healthcare.gov is up by one-third compared to last year.
"The more who sign up, the stronger the system becomes," Obama said. "And that's good news for every American who no longer has to worry about being just one illness or accident away from financial hardship."
In October, the federal government announced that it was hoping to have 10 million people covered through the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces by the end of next year. The ACA marketplaces have struggled to keep customers due to potential cost concerns, a trend the Department of Health and Human Services tried to combat by emphasizing the fact that individuals who shop around for their plans often save money, FierceHealthPayer has reported.
A last-minute enrollment rush has taken place this month, with the deadline approaching for coverage effective Jan. 1. Both call centers and the Healthcare.gov were choked up last week with traffic from thousands of people, leading the government to extend the deadline two days.
To learn more:
- here is the White House press conference transcript