Over a million sign up for Obamacare, mostly in December

Certified Enrollment Specialist, Yanelis Diaz, waits on the HealthCare.gov website that reads, 'HealthCare.gov has a lot of visitors right now!' as she helps people through the options available to them under the Affordable Care Act at a Miami Enrollment Assistance Center on December 23, 2013 in Miami, Florida. 

The Department of Health and Human Services says that more than a million Americans signed up, using healthcare.gov between October 1, when the site had its problem plagued rollout, and December 24. Of those million-plus people, nearly ninety percent signed up this month, in December.

That could indicate a couple of things. First, that the people who signed up wanted coverage that would start this Wednesday. It also could mean that healthcare.gov is working better and has gotten more reliable since October.

But it's not all good news. While the government is trumpeting these numbers, they’re still way lower than what had been forecast.

While the deadline for coverage that begins on January 1 has now passed, we're only half way through the six-month open enrollment period. The next big deadline is March 31. If you don’t have insurance by then, you'll be hit with a tax penalty.

 Over these next few months, we’re going to see more outreach both to Americans who can sign up and to Americans who have signed up, and are wondering what’s next -- what’s covered, what isn't, etc. And, we can assume that behind the scenes, there will be more work fixing healthcare.gov and the overall rollout of the healthcare law.

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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