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HHS says 9.5 million are enrolled in Obamacare, more than its November estimate

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The Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that 9.5 million people were signed up in an Obamacare health plan as of this week, above the roughly 9 million HHS was hoping for this year.

Obamacare is current in its second annual enrollment phase, and people can sign up for a health insurance program through February 15 before the enrollment window closes.

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Back in November, HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell predicted that about 9.1 million people would be signed up by 2015. That was down about 4 million from an estimate put forward by the Congressional Budget Office.

At the time, Burwell didn't say why the HHS estimate was so much lower, but indicated that HHS had more moderate expectations based on the clunky first year of enrollment.

HHS said Tuesday that 7.1 million enrollees signed up through the federal website, HealthCare.gov, and the remaining 2.4 million signed up in one of the 14 states with their own websites.

Late last year, the Obama administration came under criticism for inflating the number of Obamacare enrollees by including those who were only signed up for dental plans. Since then, officials have said they would not inflate the numbers this way again.

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