About 4.7 million people so far have signed up for a health insurance plan sold on the federal Obamacare marketplace, whose final enrollment deadline is Friday, officials said Wednesday.
But it is not clear from the new tally whether Obamacare enrollment this season will end up surpassing the 9.2 million sign ups booked last season on the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov.
During the week that ended last Saturday, 1.07 million customers selected a private individual health insurance plan sold on HealthCare.gov, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
That number is expected to significantly increase this week, the final one of the season for enrolling in individual health plans that take effect Jan. 1 on HealthCare.gov, which serves residents of 39 states.
Most of the other states that run their own Obamacare exchanges — which sell coverage to people who do not have other sources of health coverage —have later deadlines. After the deadline, people can sign up for health insurance only in special circumstances.
Sign-ups, as a rule, tend to spike sharply as insurance deadlines approach.
However, many people this season are unaware of HealthCare.gov's final deadline, which falls six weeks earlier than last season's cut-off date.
Larry Levitt, an Obamacare expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said he did not think that enough people would sign up in the last week to beat last year's final tally.
Of the 4,678,361 million customers who had selected a plan on HealthCare.gov through last Saturday since open enrollmentbegan Nov. 1, almost 1.4 million of them were new customers, and almost 3.3 million were returning customers.
This enrollment season is the first full one to occur under the administration of President Donald Trump, which is hostile to the Affordable Care Act, as Obamacare is formally known.
Obamacare supporters have strongly criticized the Trump administration for slashing advertising and outreach efforts designed to spur enrollment in health plans.
Those supporters blame such actions by the then-new administration at very end of the last open enrollment season for causing a shortfall of about 400,000 people compared to the sign-up tally for the prior year.
Advocates as a result have been skeptical that this year's enrollment tally will be higher than last season's.