By Elise Viebeck - 10/26/13 01:00 PM EDT
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has conducted more than 330,000 eligibility calculations for premium tax credits under ObamaCare since the law's enrollment system debuted four weeks ago, the agency said Saturday.
The 330,000 figure provides the clearest sense so far of how many people are trying to enroll in the new health insurance marketplaces, or at least how many are seeking financial assistance to do so.
The number reveals how many people have moved past the application stage and toward asking the federal government whether they qualify for premium tax credits to make their healthcare coverage more affordable.
"The IRS remains on track with implementing its portion of the Affordable Care Act and continues actively supporting the health insurance marketplaces," the agency said in a statement.
The disclosure sheds some light on how many people the Obama administration may enroll by the end of the month despite problems with the online sign-up system.
Federal health officials will not release official enrollment data until November, but have said that nearly 700,000 applications have been filed around the country, with more than half coming from HealthCare.gov.
An internal memo from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) suggested that the administration once projected 500,000 signups by Oct. 31.
HHS said it does not keep monthly enrollment targets and is reminding consumers that the open enrollment period lasts until the end of March.
Officials also point to strong evidence from Medicare Part D and the Children's Health Insurance Program suggesting that major waves of applications will come before enrollment deadlines.
The revelation from the IRS comes after a tough week for the White House as officials struggle in repairing the enrollment website.
The IRS said Saturday that it has completed more than 1.3 million verification requests for personal data required on the exchange applications, and is receiving about 80,000 data requests every day.
—This post was updated at 5:55 p.m.