Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The number of enrollees to Obamacare reached 4.2 million as of end of February, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
About 2.6 million people signed up on the federally run insurance exchange or HealthCare.gov, while 1.6 million signed up on the 15 state-run exchanges. A total 942,000 people signed up in February, fewer than 1,146,000 sign-ups in January. The unofficial goal of the HHS is to sign up 7 million by the end of March, the deadline for open enrollment by individuals. After March 31, most of those who do not have insurance will be required to pay a penalty.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday it is not yet too late to sign up and get covered by health insurance.
President Barack Obama plugged HealthCare.gov in the online show “Between Two Ferns” hosted by comedian Zach Galifianakis. Obama urged young people to get covered because “they are not invincible.”
More young enrollees are needed to offset the cost of insuring older and less healthy people.
White House spokesman Jay Carney is optimistic many young Americans will sign up. But House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Oh.), through his spokesman Brendan Buck, said young adults are not enrolling because they consider the health care law a “bad deal.”
Buck also said the Obama administration did not indicate how many people have actually paid for a plan or how many were previously uninsured to determine if the healthcare law is really fulfilling its objective of insuring the nation’s estimated 47 million uninsured.