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    Obamacare Signup Reaches 4.2 Million


    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.

    "Certainly we and our partners have invested resources heavily in those two states because they have some of the highest uninsured rates in the country (Texas is first; Florida is third), meaning the opportunity for enrollment was highest there," she said. "We always expected enrollment to increase as we got closer to the March 31st deadline and we’re now seeing that pattern play out."

    Enrollment data from individual states are available on the HHS website.

    Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

    Tue, Mar 11 2014

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