HHS: 9.9M have signed up for ObamaCare

A total of 9.9 million people have signed up for private health insurance on ObamaCare's state and federal exchanges, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell told senators Wednesday.

The figure — which includes 7.5 million people on the federal marketplace and 2.4 million on the state exchanges — makes it more likely that the administration will reach its goal of 9.1 million paid enrollments this year.

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Burwell did not say how many of the 9.9 million have activated their coverage by paying their first premium, which is the threshold for becoming an official enrollee. Anecdotally, insurers have predicted that 80 to 85 percent of people will pay their first bill.

HHS is engaged in a full-court press to bring people into the exchanges before Feb. 15, the cutoff for buying coverage for 2015.

Health officials have left the door open for extending the enrollment period, knowing that many people will learn about the healthcare law's individual mandate when they file their tax returns this April.

Burwell spoke before the Senate Finance Committee in a hearing on the White House's 2016 budget request.