ACA enrollment surges, according to the latest data.
With a fully operating website and more people eager to sign-up for health benefits (or face a penalty fee), the Affordable Care Act has seen a spike in enrollment, according to the White House.
In a report issues by the New York Times, an approximate 3.3 million people have signed up for benefits through the Affordable Care Act. Over the past four months, more than half of enrollment has been from older individuals believe to already be suffering from health conditions, ages 45-64, while 25 percent of enrollment has been from younger, healthier adults ages 18-34. Of the current people enrolled, four-fifths qualified for financial assistance to help pay for their healthcare premiums.
In the month of January, more than 1.1 million Americans signed up the ACA through both federal and state exchanges, according to the report. Though the administration did not meet its current goal of 4.4 million enrollees, officials expect to see a surge in enrollment in the coming month. With a now fully-operational website and more resources available to help people understand how the complicated health program works, officials anticipate enrollment to reach seven million by the time open enrollment is closed on March 31, a number that Caroline F. Pearson, vice president of Avalere Health, suggests will be closer to six million.
The highly debated Affordable Care Act continues to divide Republicans and Democrats, with ongoing attacks from Republicans serving as an obstacle when it comes to encouraging and convincing people to enroll.
People who fail to enroll in the program by March 31, may be subject to tax penalties enforced by the Internal Revenue Service. However, the administration plans to encourage people more and more in the coming months as the open enrollment deadline nears, hoping that the recent increase in enrollment continues through the end of March and that their goal is met.