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Obamacare enrollments accelerate

Updated: 2013-12-12 09:24
( Xinhua)

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans selecting private health plans in November under US President Barack Obama's signature healthcare overhaul more than doubled from October, but the total enrollments still lagged behind the target, according to the latest report released by the Obama administration Wednesday.

The Health and Human Services Department announced that last month saw 259,000 sign-ups for a health plan through a federal or state insurance marketplace under the Obamacare, a significant improvement from the 106,000 enrollments in October.

The November data brought the total number of enrollments to about 365,000, which is still well behind the original goal of 800, 000 in the first two months.

However, the health official insisted that it is still "on track" to meet the goal of 7 million sign-ups under the Obamacare by March 31, 2014.

"We're only 2 1/2 months into a six month open enrollment period,"said Michael Hash, director of the department's Office of Health Reform, who added they expected "the bulk of enrollments" to occur at the end of the enrollment period.

The 365,000 sign-ups included those who have enrolled through the controversial federally-run online marketplace HealthCare.gov and those who have gone through 14 state-run marketplaces.

The state-run marketplaces continue to outpace the federally- run market in enrollment. The state-run exchanges get about 227, 000 enrolled in the first two months, while 137,000 more picked out a health plan via HealthCare.gov.

The Healthcare.gov, the federal online marketplace serving consumers in 36 states, is key to Obama's signature healthcare overhaul aiming to get more uninsured Americans coverage.

However, the website have been plagued with technical glitches since it was launched on October 1. Many consumers have reported difficulties of signing up and getting enrolled. The Obama administration said on December 1 that the technical team had already met its self-imposed deadline on November 30 to make sure the website can handle "the vast majority of users."

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