ObamaCare sees 1.5M applicants in two weeks

About 1.5 million people applied for ObamaCare plans in the first two weeks of open enrollment, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said Wednesday.

Out of the total applications submitted, about 765,000 plans have already been picked, according to a weekly enrollment snapshot released by the agency.

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Most of the sign-ups took place in the first week of open enrollment, which the government was promoting at events across the country. A half-million people submitted applications in the last week and about 300,000 picked plans.

Applications have been almost equally split between new and returning customers. Individuals have only until Dec. 15 to renew their coverage, while new users have until February.

The enrollment totals include the 37 states using the federal marketplace, but not states that run their own exchanges. 

The total is still a long way off from the HHS’s goal of signing up 9.1 million people this year, though it far outpaces early figures from last year, when a dysfunctional website prevented people from logging on for several weeks.

This year, nearly 5.5 million people have visited the HealthCare.gov website, and few technical issues have been reported.

HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said last week that the open enrollment period has been “off to a solid start.” She also announced that the Health Department would be releasing enrollment numbers every week, as opposed to monthly reports last year, to improve transparency.