Obamacare enrollees must double to make budget projections work – Washington Times

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President Obama will need to more than double the number of Americans enrolled in Obamacare exchange plans to reach 21 million next year, the target set in budget projections, in what is shaping up as the next major test for the health care law.

As of June, the Department of Health and Human Services counted 9.9 million customers who have bought plans through the federal HealthCare.gov portal and a handful of state-run exchanges.

That puts the administration ahead of it’s own estimates for 2015, but is less than half what the Congressional Budget Office projected for 2016, showing just how much work officials have ahead of them as the next round of enrollment begins in less than two months.

 

Industry analysts said the CBO’s estimate for next year is “overly optimistic” and a “stretch,” and that it will take more time for the law to attract that many people onto the Web-based markets, where consumers shop for private health care plans and typically qualify for government subsidies to reduce their monthly premiums.

“Given where things stand, the ramp-up of enrollment may be slower than initially anticipated,” said Elizabeth Carpenter, a vice president at Avalere Health, a D.C.-based consultancy.

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