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Obamacare Signup Reaches 4.2 Million


California, which is running its own marketplace, has enrolled nearly twice as many as any other state, according to the February enrollment report. Florida, which is relying on the federal exchange, has enrolled more than 440,000. Texas has enrolled 295,000 people.

At the same time, Nevada had just a 26 percent increase, but the state insurance exchange disputes the numbers used in the report and says it had closer to a 75 percent jump. Still, an exchange official says they have not seen the enrollment they expected because of technical problems with their website. "We are not pleased with the enrollment growth," said C.J. Bawden, spokesman for the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange.

Federal officials said they don't know how many people who have enrolled were previously uninsured or what percent have paid their premiums.

While enrollment in February was slightly lower than in January -- 943,000 compared to 1.1 million--federal officials point out that February has fewer days and the January enrollment report counted the final three days of December.

Bataille refused to say whether she thinks enrollment will hit the 6 million mark projected by the Congressional Budget Office earlier this year. "We do believe millions more Americans will come in and enroll in coverage before the March 31 deadline," she said.

More than 8 in 10 enrollees have received subsidies to lower their monthly premiums, according to the HHS data.

The marketplaces — a centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act — were created so that Americans unable to get coverage through their jobs could select among plans that offer a basic set of benefits. Americans making up to four times the federal poverty level, or nearly $46,000 for an individual, qualify for government subsidies to offset the cost of their premiums.

The administration had announced passing the 4 million enrollment mark about two weeks ago but did not break out the figures.

The percent of people between 18 and 34 enrolling ranged from 18 percent in West Virginia, to 31 percent in Utah, to 45 percent in the District of Columbia. The variation reflects states' demographics, among other things, federal officials said.

An additional 4.4 million people have been deemed eligible for Medicaid, according to the report, but it is not known how many of those people are new to the program. There is no deadline on when people can enroll in the state-federal health insurance program for the poor.

In addition, more than 544,000 people have purchased standalone dental plans in the federal marketplace, the report said. Dental enrollment figures were not available for the state marketplaces.

Anne Filipic, president of nonprofit Enroll America, said the growth in Florida and Texas reflects partly the need for coverage in those states and the work her group and others have done to drive demand.

Tue, Mar 11 2014

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