The Department of Health and Human Services included hundreds of thousands of dental plans when reporting ObamaCare enrollments in September, an undisclosed departure from routine practice that made it appear the administration had met its goal of 7 million signups in 2014.
Adding nearly 400,000 dental plans to the Affordable Care Act signups put the administration's September number at 7.3 million instead of the more accurate 6.97 million, Bloomberg reported Thursday. HHS told Bloomberg after the story was published that the dental plans were "erroneously" included.
"A mistake was made in calculating the number of individuals with effectuated Marketplace enrollments," a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokesman told the Washington Examiner in a statement. "We have determined that individuals who had both Marketplace medical and dental coverage were erroneously counted in our recent announcements."
The correct number of enrollments as of October 15 is 6.7 million, the spokesman told the Examiner, and CMS will no longer be using dental plans in enrollment figures.
That's slightly less than the Congressional Budget Office's original projection, and it left ObamaCare-backer Charles Gaba baffled. “I really don’t see what the point would be of being misleading about that number,” he told Bloomberg. “Even if it had been 6.9 million, I don’t see that as being a terrible thing.”