The U.S. administration said on Monday that more than 5 million people have now enrolled in private health insurance under the program known as Obamacare, since open enrollment began on Oct. 1.
The tally is an increase of at least 800,000 enrollees since March 1, with volume rising as the six-month enrollment period approaches its deadline on March 31. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that enrollment could total 6 million, but private estimates have suggested a lower turnout.
The announcement, in a government blog posted by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, did not say how many new enrollees are the younger adults that President Barack Obama needs to make his new health insurance marketplaces a success.
But Tavenner said the pace of enrollment has been at its highest since late December, when there was a rush of interest from people who wanted coverage beginning Jan. 1.
She said the federal website HealthCare.gov had 1 million online visitors over the weekend and more than 4 million visitors last week. A federal call center set up to take applications over the telephone had more than 198,000 calls last Thursday.
© 2016 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.