Latest numbers for ‘Obamacare’ out

SHARE Latest numbers for ‘Obamacare’ out

More than 88,000 Illinois residents have now selected a health insurance plan created by President Barack Obama’s health plan, according to the latest enrollment numbers that come out six weeks before the deadline to enroll this year.

Illinois’ last total released in January was 61,111 between Oct. 1 and Feb. 1.

Here’s the basics:

– Of the 88,602 Illinoisans who got a plan, 75 percent of those qualified for tax credits, according to the report.

– Nationwide, nearly 3.3 million Americans selected a plan, continuing an increase from nearly 2.2 million.

– Twenty-seven percent of the people who have bought insurance — up from 24 percent.  But that’s still below the roughly 40 percent goal set by the administration.

– More women applied for plans than men

The enrolled numbers include people who may or may not have already paid a premium for the insurance plan they selected, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said. So, it’s hard to determine how many people have actually enrolled.

It’s six weeks until March 31, when the six-month open enrollment period for 2014 ends.

And here’s what the reaction was to the latest news:

— Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters on a conference call that the news about the increasing number of people who had picked a plan as of February — and especially the pace at which young people were signing up – “very, very encouraging.”

— “Based on past enrollment efforts, our research and what we’re hearing in the field, we’ve always said that young people would wait until later in the open enrollment period to make their decision, and we’re now seeing that pattern begin to play out,” said Anne Filipic, president of Enroll America, a group that has been helping get people signed up.

— House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, meanwhile, pointed out that HHS’s original enrollment goal at this point was 4.38 million, based on an internal document obtained by the House Ways and Means Committee.

“Under penalty of higher taxes, Americans are mandated by law to have a plan, but they’re still resisting Obamacare,” said Brendan Buck, Boehner’s spokesman.  “And many that are actually signing up are only doing so because the law cancelled the plan they had, liked and could afford.”

HHS said on Wednesday that they didn’t have data on how many people who bought a plan were uninsured before that.  But they noted that the law requires insurance plans to be more robust than previously.

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