476,000 Obamacare applications filed
By: Joanne Kenen
October 19, 2013 06:45 PM EDT
About a half million people have taken the first step toward enrolling in Obamacare health coverage, creating applications on the exchanges, a White House official said late Saturday.
Officials have said they won’t release the number of people who have actually enrolled in a health plan until November – but the number is far smaller because of the extensive problems with the online marketplaces known as exchanges.
The administration hopes to get seven million people enrolled through the exchange coverage by the end of March, but the longer the computer problems persist, the harder it will be to meet that goal.
The AP, which first reported the creation of 476,000 applications, said the numbers were roughly divided between people who had managed to create accounts on the Healthcare.gov federal site, which is serving 36 states, and the state-run exchanges, some of which have been running much more smoothly.