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Obamacare surge: Report shows rise in coverage following December enrollments

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Despite extensive problems with the government website last fall, Americans are reportedly charging forward with the Health Insurance Marketplace.

The US Department of Health and Human Services issued a report Monday highlighting Health Insurance Marketplace data from October 1, 2013 — December 28, 2013. According to the release, 2.2 Americans selected plans under state and federal marketplaces during the fourth quarter with the majority of enrollees, a whopping 1.8 million, signing up in December alone.

The information HHS released includes the first demographic data about enrollees who selected health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare.

  • Of the almost 2.2. million who enrolled:
    • 54 percent are female and 46 percent are male;
    • 30 percent are age 34 and under;
    • 24 percent are between the ages of 18 and 34, and;
    • 60 percent selected a Silver plan, while 20 percent selected a Bronze plan; and
    • 79 percent selected a plan with Financial Assistance.

"Americans are finding quality affordable coverage in the Marketplace, and best of all, because coverage began on New Year’s Day, the promise and hope of the Affordable Care Act is now a reality,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “Our outreach efforts have ramped up...we are doing all we can to find, inform and enroll those who can benefit from the Marketplace.

The report includes state-by-state statistics where available. In Alabama, 28,633 people enrolled in healthcare plans during the reporting period. Fifty-five percent were female; 45 percent, male.

Obamacare has long been a divisive issue between Republicans and Democrats, with Republicans claiming it would, among other things, wreak havoc on the economy. When website flaws surfaced last October, many GOP lawmakers once again spoke out against the program.

In the meantime, program supporters are encouraged by the latest surge.

Coverage is available to individuals, families and small businesses. If you are interested in learning more about the federal program, visit healthcare.gov.

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