(CNN, March 11, 2014) — More than 4.2 million have signed up for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges through February, leaving the administration with one more month to hit its enrollment targets.
Sign-ups slowed last month, as expected, with fewer than 950,000 picking plans, according to federal data released Tuesday.
But not all of these people have completed enrollment by paying their premiums. Administration officials have said they don’t have an official tally of how many people have paid yet, but insurers interviewed have indicated the figure is running in the 80% range. Those who don’t pay will have their policies voided.
The administration and advocacy groups are hoping to boost sign-ups in the final days of open enrollment, which ends March 31. They have launched an advertising and outreach campaign aimed at younger Americans, blacks, Latinos and lower-income folks in particular.
The number of young people picking policies surpassed 1 million in February, but their share of sign-ups remained steady at 27%. Younger enrollees are crucial to Obamacare’s success because they are thought to be healthier and less expensive, and insurers are hoping to attract those ages 18 to 34 to offset costs incurred by older, sicker enrollees. If too many high-cost people enroll, it could cause next year’s premiums to jump.
Though many insurers have said sign-ups were running close to expectations, it remains to be seen whether enrollment will hit the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office’sprojections that 6 million people would enroll in the exchanges for 2014.