ObamaCare sign-ups officially beat 2015 goal

A total of 10.2 million people bought ObamaCare during the most recent sign-up period, federal officials announced Tuesday.

The Obama administration is now officially on track to meet its self-stated 2015 target of 9.1 million customers, the second year in a row that it has achieved a revised enrollment goal.

The figure is a drop-off from the 11.7 million people who signed up for coverage during this year's sign-up period, though that tally had been expected to fall after some people did not make premium payments.

“The Health Insurance Marketplaces are working,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell said in a statement. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, millions of Americans now rely on the health and financial security that comes from affordable coverage through the Marketplaces."

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The new figures also highlight the stakes for the looming Supreme Court case that could eliminate ObamaCare subsidies for people in the 37 states using the federal marketplace.

A total of 6.4 million people who bought ObamaCare in those states could lose the federal aid that helps them pay their premiums, according to the report.

That total is slightly less than the 7.7 million people that the administration previously warned in March could lose coverage under the law.

The data also showed that many of the states that are most reliant on subsidies are the ones that stand to lose them.

All 10 of the states with the highest rate of consumers receiving tax credits are on the federal exchange.

In Mississippi, Florida and North Carolina about 94 percent of people are receiving subsidies.

Overall, this year’s final number is less than the 11 million people who were expected to be enrolled in 2015, according to the most recent analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). That estimate was initially 12 million, but was revised in March.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the figures for its effectuated enrollment — which includes only people who have paid their premiums — in a database published online Tuesday.

The Obama administration had already downsized its prediction for this year’s enrollment.

Federal officials said last fall they were aiming for 9.1 million sign-ups — about 3.1 million fewer than initial projections from the CBO.

During ObamaCare’s first year, the administration had also lowered its initial goal, predicting 6 million sign-ups instead of an initial projection of 8 million from CBO. It ultimately signed up 6.7 million.

Last year’s enrollment period had been derailed by the tumultuous website roll out, prompting officials to extend deadlines for weeks to reach its target.

This year’s sign-up period was marked by almost no technological hold-ups, though the administration was still forced to extend deadlines after a computer glitch caused errors with 800,000 people’s tax filings.

Enrollment had also dropped off last year when the administration was forced to remove several hundred thousand people from its rolls who did not pay premiums. The final enrollment tally was about 6.7 million, down from about 8 million originally.

Across the board, ObamaCare enrollment has been slightly lower than predicted. The marketplaces will likely see 3 million fewer customers than expected over the next decade.

In its initial projections, the CBO had predicted 24 million people would buy coverage through the exchange by the beginning of 2017.

The Obama administration has since said that it could take until 2019 to reach that target.