News / USA

Over 2.1 Million Reportedly Sign Up for Obamacare

FILE - A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website.
FILE - A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website.
Reuters
More than 2.1 million people have enrolled in private health insurance plans through new federal and state websites since they were launched in October as part of President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.
 
While short of the 3.3 million enrollees that the Obama administration was hoping for by now, the number signing up for insurance is a dramatic improvement from the early weeks of the program, when barely 150,000 got coverage because of a series of technical problems with the federal website HealthCare.gov.
 
Sign-ups for what has become known as Obamacare gained pace during December as the website's performance improved, and as more Americans focused on getting coverage by the new year.
 
Many of the newly insured under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act enrolled just ahead of a Dec. 24 deadline to receive benefits on Jan. 1, giving health insurers a tight framework to create accounts that can be accessed by doctors.
 
About half the 2.1 million signed up for private health insurance on the federal website, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters in a conference call. HealthCare.gov covers 36 states; another 14 states and the District of Columbia have their own healthcare websites.
 
Sebelius said that in October and November, another 3.9 million Americans were determined eligible for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, although this included some renewals. Both are government-run programs serving low-income people.
 
HealthCare.gov crashed soon after its launch on Oct. 1, as millions of visitors accessed the site, and remained balky for much of the ensuing weeks.
 
The disastrous rollout disappointed those who were trying to enroll in subsidized health insurance, and damaged the credibility of President Obama and his signature domestic policy achievement. Two officials have left the U.S. agency that was in charge of launching the website.
 
Administration officials hope they have turned a corner toward a better-working program that makes it possible for millions of Americans to get health insurance who did not have it before. People can still sign up until March 31 for coverage in 2014.
 
But the new year is expected to bring new challenges as many Americans begin to use their medical coverage for the first time. U.S. officials have said that some errors occurred with the transmission of enrollment data to insurers, especially early in the enrollment period.
 
“January 1st marks not only the beginning of a New Year, but an exciting new day in health care as millions of Americans will now be able to access care, thanks to the coverage they found at the Health Insurance Marketplace,” Sebelius said in a blog posting on Tuesday.
 
“For many of the newly insured ... it will be the first time that they can enjoy the security that comes with health coverage,” Sebelius said. She said the administration was doing everything possible to help with the transition period.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More