The Obama administration was hoping for 10 million signups, instead, 12.7 million Americans joined Obamacare during the 2016 open enrollment period.
Many analysts saw the 10 million mark as too modest, but none the less, the administration celebrated an even higher number of expected new signups.
“The marketplace is growing and getting stronger and the ACA [Affordable Care Act] has become a crucial part of healthcare in America,” said Health Secretary Sylvia Burwell.
Open enrollment for Obamacare ended on January 31, and the administration has promised to crack down on who can sign up outside of that period.
The agency is specifically targeting people who only sign up for the program after they develop some type of illness.
Traditionally, only those with a major life change — such as job loss, marriage, divorce or the birth of a child — can obtain insurance after open enrollment ends.
Fewer Americans are projected to sign up for individual coverage on the exchanges in near future. The Congressional Budget Office lowered its estimate to 13 million enrollees for 2016, down from earlier projections of 21 million.
The government’s recent report found that 9.6 million people signed up via the federal exchange, healthcare.gov, which covers enrollment in 38 states. More than 4 million were new consumers.
3.1 million users selected plans through the exchanges in states that run their own programs.