Sign-ups for plans on the Affordable Care Act's exchanges reached 5.5 million during the first five weeks of open enrollment, according to the latest figures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The CMS said Wednesday that figure includes 1.2 million people who have newly signed up for coverage through the exchanges as well as 4.3 million people who have returned to the exchanges to renew or select a new plan for 2023.

That represents an 18% increase year over year; in 2021, 4.6 million people had signed up for plans through the first five weeks of the enrollment period.

“Providing quality, affordable health care options remains a top priority. We are incredibly pleased to see continued strong enrollment numbers in this second snapshot report, especially the increase in new enrollees," said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. "We are going to keep our focus on ensuring that all who seek health care coverage get the affordable, quality coverage they need."

Double-digit enrollment growth has been a consistent trend over the course of these enrollment snapshot updates. Through the first three weeks, about 3.4 million people had signed up for plans, up 17% compared to 2021.

Enhanced premium subsidies have been a key driver in boosting enrollment on the exchange to record highs, and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said that 4 in 5 enrolled in plans on will find coverage for $10 or less per month.

“We are off to a strong start—and we will not rest until we can connect everyone possible to health care coverage this enrollment season,” Becerra said in the release. “The Biden-Harris Administration has taken historic action to expand access to health care, and ensure everyone can have the peace of mind that comes with being insured."

The enrollment window for the 2022 plan year closed with a new record in sign-ups: 14.5 million. The current enrollment period ends Jan. 5.