Health insurance sign-ups reach almost 79,000

HEALTHCARE-MONEY-INVEST

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Federal officials say close to 79,000 Ohioans have picked health plans in the new insurance marketplace created by President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report Tuesday with the latest enrollment numbers covering Oct. 1 through March 1. Officials say 78,925 Ohioans have signed up for coverage ahead of the March 31 open enrollment deadline.

That number falls far short of the 152,000 Ohioans that the government projected would be enrolled by the end of February.

The federal data shows that many Ohio residents obtaining coverage in the marketplace are older. Eighty-five percent of enrollees are getting financial help to pay their monthly premiums.

The report also said more than 193,000 Ohioans were found eligible to enroll in a marketplace plan.

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