One Million Obamacare Sign-ups in December

The administration appears to have finally turned the corner on fixing the website, removing a major impediment to consumers who wish to purchase insurance on the exchange. The White House announced early Sunday that about 1 million people had signed up for insurance through the troubled portal.

I took a turn through the site myself and while it's not easy to navigate in some ways, at least it's not crashing and burning.

The Hill reports:

More than 1.1 million people enrolled in ObamaCare before a December 24 deadline for consumers seeking healthcare plans that begin Jan. 1, the Obama administration said early Sunday.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Marilyn Tavenner said in a blog post that more than 975,000 people enrolled in a qualified health plan through the federal marketplace in December, following a rocky rollout in October.

Detailed demographics were not released.

Tavenner called the late surge “welcome.”

“Our enrollment nearly doubled in the days before the January 1 coverage deadline compared to the first few weeks of the month,” she said. “December enrollment so far is over 7 times that of October and November. In part, this was because we met our marks on improving the site supported 83,000 concurrent users on December 23rd alone.”

Tavenner said administration officials expect to see enrollment ramp up through the six-month open enrollment period, “much like other historic implementation efforts we’ve seen in Massachusetts and Medicare Part D.”

The administration said Friday that the website adequately handled a massive surge of Internet traffic ahead of last Tuesday's deadline.

“There's no question that, over this past weekend, Monday, and Tuesday, met the mark and did exactly what it was supposed to do--helping Americans from across the country find secure, quality health insurance coverage at an affordable price,” CMS spokeswoman Julie Bataille said in a statement.

Bataille said that in the four days leading up to the Dec. 24 enrollment deadline, response times averaged half a second, and error rates were at less than 1 percent.

Of course, if the website were the only thing wrong with Obamacare, there would be smooth sailing from here on out. But the fact is, no one is sure what is going to happen on January 1, when coverage starts for millions of Medicaid patients as well as those who purchased insurance on the exchanges.