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Obamacare numbers inflated by dental plans

The 7.3 million enrollment figure touted by the administration includes 380,000 people who only signed up for dental coverage.

By Gabrielle Levy
Obamacare numbers inflated by dental plans
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. UPI/Yuri Gripas. | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- The Obama administration admitted to including dental plan subscribers in its health insurance enrollment figures, boosting the total 380,000 to more than 7 million.

As of Oct. 15, the accurate figure is 6.7 million, a U.S. Health and Human Services spokesman confirmed Thursday.

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"The mistake we made is unacceptable," HHS Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell tweeted. "I will be communicating that clearly throughout the [department]."

Previous enrollment announcements separated the dental insurance figures from health plans, but in September, Marilyn Tavenner gave the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee the 7.3 million figure, which included those "enrolled in the health insurance marketplace coverage."

"A mistake was made in calculating the number of individuals with effectuated Marketplace enrollments," HHS spokesman Kevin Griffis told Bloomberg, who first broke the story. "Moving forward only individuals with medical coverage will be included in our effectuated enrollment numbers."

The GOP-led Oversight committee first brought the discrepancy to light.

"After touting 8 million initial sign-ups for medical plans, four months later they engaged in a concerted effort to obscure a heavy drop-out rate of perhaps a million or more enrollees by quietly adding in dental plan sign-ups to exchange numbers," outgoing Oversight chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said.

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