White House overstated Obamacare enrollment

The Obama administration inadvertently added 380,000 standalone dental subscribers to its total count of Affordable Care Act healthcare subscribers, Bloomberg News reported.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said the accurate number of Americans who obtained health insurance through state and federal exchanges is roughly 6.7 million as of Oct. 15.

Thursday's announcement represents the latest downward revision of Obamacare enrollment figures.

HHS said in April that 8 million people had signed up to receive insurance through the ACA marketplaces during the 2013-2014 enrollment period. In September, responding to Republican senators who called for final ACA enrollment numbers, HHS said that, in fact, 7.3 million people had enrolled. Earlier this month, HHS said enrollment was down to 7.1 million.

But both the September and November figures counted 380,000 Americans who had signed up for dental coverage only. What's more, HHS hasn't said why its ACA enrollment figures have fallen, or why it stopped listing standalone dental subscribers separately from full healthcare subscribers, according to the Post.

Enrollment number revisions notwithstanding, the second year of open enrollment has been a mostly positive rollout, and polls say marketplace consumers are happy. HHS said it plans to have 9.1 million Americans covered through the insurance marketplaces by the end of the enrollment period on Feb. 15, 2015.

That still falls well short of the original Congressional Budget Office projection of 13 million enrollees.

To learn more:
- read the Bloomberg article