02/17/2015 06:40 EST | Updated 04/19/2015 05:59 EDT

White House: Health law sign-ups estimated to top 11M as enrolment season winds down

WASHINGTON - The White House estimates that more than 11 million people signed up for subsidized private health insurance under President Barack Obama's law this year.

The preliminary number released Tuesday comes with a couple of asterisks.

The final number could grow because the administration is offering a grace period for people who started applications — but couldn't finish them — before last Sunday's official deadline. They have until February 22, this coming Sunday.

Also, Democratic lawmakers are pressing Obama to grant a second chance to sign up for uninsured people facing tax penalties.

But the final number could shrink if consumers who've enrolled for 2015 coverage don't follow through by paying their share of premiums.

Last year, 8 million people signed up initially. But by fall, 6.7 million were left.