Now, they just just have to sign up another 8.65 million people.
More than 450,000 people selected Obamacare health insurance plans on HealthCare.gov in the first week of this year's open enrollment—and nearly half were new customers, federal officials said Wednesday.
Officials also said that 1,032,129 people submitted completed applications for eligibility for Obamacare plan coverage from Nov. 15 through last Friday.
Officials also announced new partnerships to help boost enrollment in the insurance plans in coming months.
"We're off to a solid start, but we've still got a lot of work to do every day between now and February 15," Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said, referring to the open-enrollment deadline. Burwell has set a goal of 9.1 million people to be signed up by the end of 2015 in Obamacare plans.
Burwell said that 48 percent of the 462,125 customers—221,820 people—who selected plans that go into effect in 2015 were buying insurance for the first time on HealthCare.gov, the federal Obamacare exchange that sells coverage in two-thirds of country.
The remaining 52 percent, or 240,305 people, were existing customers who had renewed coverage or replaced their current plans for 2015, Burwell said during a phone briefing with reporters.
For the selected plans to be considered official enrollments, people will need to pay their first month's premiums.
The number of sign-ups in just the first week is more than four times the 106,185 who selected Obamacare plans in the entire U.S. in the entire first month of open enrollment last year, when HealthCare.gov and several state-run exchanges were technological disasters.
The tally released Wednesday morning did not include customers of exchanges operated by 13 states and the District of Columbia.
But it did include existing customers of the previously state-run exchanges of Oregon and Nevada, who would be considered new enrollments on HealthCare.gov if they had signed up in the first week. Those states turned over enrollment functions to HealthCare.gov this year because of serious problems on their exchanges last season.
Officials did not break out the numbers of people who came from Oregon and Nevada in the plan selection tallies.
But Andy Slavitt, the principal deputy administrator for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said, "I think it's safe to assume that [those states] wouldn't be a substantial part of those numbers."
Charles Gaba, a website developer whose Obamacare enrollment tracking and projection blog ACASignups.net has become a resource for health-care analysts and media, said that as of Tuesday night, state-run exchanges had reported about 68,000 sign-ups so far. Gaba said that tally represented a minimum of state-based exchange sign-ups—some states haven't disclosed that tally, and others have not been issuing regular updates.
Gaba said that based on current confirmed reports and the trends he is seeing, he projects there are now 890,000 people who have selected health plans across all government-run exchanges nationally.
"I'm extremely happy" about the sign-up levels reported by HealthCare.gov, Gaba said. "I think it's very good."