clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under: signed up 462,125 customers in first week

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
  1. 462,125 people selected Obamacare plans on during open enrollment's first week, November 15 to 21.
  2. 48 percent of those consumers were new customers who had not purchased coverage through the marketplace in 2015.
  3. In the wake of inaccurate enrollment figures released in this fall, the Obama administration promises weekly "snap shots" of open enrollment activity alongside monthly, in-depth enrollment reports

Many new customers signed up for Obamacare

The Obama administration says that nearly a half-million people selected insurance plans through during the first week of Obamacare open enrollment, in mid-November. Nearly half (48 percent) were new customers who had not previously purchased coverage last year, suggesting that the law could widen its reach to more uninsured Americans in year two of coverage expansion.

The new numbers, released by Health and Human Services Wednesday, show a faster start to open enrollment this year than in 2013. Last year, during's botched launch, only 106,185 consumers selected health insurance plans during the entire first month of enrollment.

The Obama administration released other data on how users interacted with, including applications filed and wait times for call centers. It showed long wait times (over three minutes) to speak to a call center representative in English and many more than 1 million window shoppers on the site (people who explored their plan options, but did not create an application for coverage).
These figures do not include those consumers using the 14 state-based exchanges, in places like California and New York, where the federal government does not run the insurance marketplace.

And they also do not necessary show total enrollment: those who selected a plan still need to send a first month's premium to their insurance plan in order for their coverage to kick in on January 1.

The administration also specified that these numbers do not include the dental plan sign-ups that were wrongly counted in previous enrollment figures.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.