The latest Obamacare numbers don’t reveal as much as you’d think

Actually, make that Dec. 24. (Jon Elswick/AP)

The latest Obamacare numbers are out and they don’t reveal all that much.

According to figures released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 2.1 million people have signed up for private insurance through the end of last year on the federal HealthCare.gov website or a state-run exchange.

Here’s what you need to know:

Obamacare is lagging behind predictions. The administration once estimated it would have 3.3 million people signed up by this point and it hopes to have seven million by the end of March.

Not enough young people have signed up yet. Twenty-four percent of those who have signed up are between 18 and 34, below the 40 percent needed to keep costs down.

• Most people chose the second-cheapest plan. According to HHS, 60 percent chose a “silver” plan and only 20 percent chose the cheapest, “bronze” plan.

Nobody knows how well the law is working. The figures released by the federal government do not include how many of the people who signed up were previously uninsured.

All that said, there are still two and a half months until the end of enrollment for 2014, and the experience in Massachusetts with a similar law showed that many people — especially many young people — waited until the last minute to sign up.

So take a deep breath and stay calm before reading any pronouncements on what the latest figures mean. It’s still too soon to tell.

Comments are closed.