Affordable Care Act Enrollment Surged Prior to the Deadline for Coverage on January 1

Over 1.1 million Americans enrolled in private health plans through Healthcare.gov between October 1 and Christmas Eve, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Sunday. That includes 975,000 enrollments in the month of December, leading up to the Christmas Eve deadline to apply for coverage beginning on January 1, 1014.

Open enrollment continues through March 31, 2014 for private insurance plans through the state and Federal marketplaces.

In the HHS statement issued yesterday, Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services wrote:

“As we continue our open enrollment campaign, we experienced a welcome surge in enrollment as millions of Americans seek access to affordable health care coverage through new Health Insurance Marketplaces nationwide. More than 1.1 million people enrolled in a qualified health plan via the Federally-facilitated Marketplace from October 1 to December 24, with more than 975,000 of those enrolling this month alone. Our HealthCare.gov enrollment nearly doubled in the days before the January 1 coverage deadline compared to the first few weeks of the month. December enrollment so far is over 7 times that of October and November. In part, this was because we met our marks on improving HealthCare.gov: the site supported 83,000 concurrent users on December 23rd alone.

“We are in the middle of a sustained, six-month open enrollment period that we expect to see enrollment ramp up over time, much like other historic implementation efforts we’ve seen in Massachusetts and Medicare Part D.

“We are eager to assist millions more Americans gain the health security offered by the Affordable Care Act in the weeks and months ahead.”