More Than 2 Million Signed Up for Obamacare

Posted at 2:59 PM, Dec 31, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-31 14:59:31-05

Washington (CNN) — More than 2.1 million Americans have signed up so far for health insurance through federal and state exchanges under Obamacare, Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday.

Additionally, 3.9 million people are newly eligible for coverage through expanded Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, she said on a conference call.

The Obamacare enrollment figure is below the target of 3 million originally set by the Obama administration for the end of December, which is halfway through an initial six-month sign-up period.

For the first time, Americans will be required to have health coverage or face a fine.

The botched rollout of the new marketplaces on October 1, when the website set up to handle the enrollment failed to work properly, damaged the sign-up process until the system began working better in early December, officials said previously.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Sebelius said the administration was “doing everything we can to help ensure a smooth transition period” for people getting new coverage.

She advised anyone going to the doctor or pharmacy to take their new insurance card with them or find out what proof of coverage will be required.

Anticipating possible problems in the enrollment system, Sebelius also advised in her blog post that “if you thought you enrolled in health coverage but aren’t showing up in the system, call your insurance company directly.”

She also said people could contact the Obamacare call center for assistance.