(AP photo/Colin Winterbottom)

President Obama announced today that the “qualified health plans” (QHPs) sold through the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) public exchanges have attracted 8 million people.

Obama said 35 percent of the people attracted are under age 35.

Obama did not say whether he was referring to people who have paid for exchange QHP coverage or simply have selected QHP coverage.

At press time, at 4:27 p.m. EDT, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had not released any additional information about exchange plan selection or plan payment activity.

The individual QHP open enrollment period started Oct. 1 and ended March 31. A two-week enrollment period extension ended April 15.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated shortly before the QHP enrollment period that the QHPs might attract about 7 million enrollees in 2014.

HHS analysts assumed in paperwork burden projections that the exchanges might get 4.3 million QHP coverage applications.

The Obama administration brought top insurance company and insurance group executives to the Roosevelt Room in the White House today to talk about the QHP open enrollment period. 

The trade group executives who showed up for the event included Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans; Scott Serota, president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; and Dr. Martin Hickey, chair of the National Alliance of State Health Co-Ops.

The list of carrier executives in attendance included Joseph Swedish of WellPoint, Jay Gellert of Health Net, Bernard Tyson of Kaiser Permanente, and the leaders of a number of CO-OP plans and Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

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