And 94 percent of
The federal data track the number of consumers who signed up
This year's enrollment has run far more smoothly than the disastrous inaugural sign-up period in 2013, when a glitchy healthcare.gov website prevented people around the nation from selecting a plan.
Fewer than 18,000
"We're pleased that in
Percentage-wise, the state's performance is on par with how it did last year, said
"Last year at the end of open enrollment,
People who signed up last year said health coverage has helped change their lives.
"I could afford to buy food or go to the doctor," said Alfred, a mother of three. "But not both."
Alfred had applied for
Having health insurance was a "blessing" when she was pregnant with her youngest son, who is now 2 months old, Alfred said.
"I went to the doctor whenever I needed and the co-pay was only
People who signed up last year but, unlike Alfred, failed to choose a new plan for 2015 were automatically re-enrolled in their existing coverage on
The recently released federal numbers do not include state-level data on consumers who were automatically re-enrolled.
That means the actual number of Floridians with coverage for 2015 could be much higher than 670,000.
HHS likely will release the number of total sign-ups in the state next month.
At least 7.1 million Americans have selected a plan for next year, counting automatic re-enrollments, which are available at the federal level. The Obama administration has set a target of about 9.1 million enrollees for 2015.
Pearson, the analyst at
"The demographics are tracking pretty similarly to last year, which is really not what people who want the exchanges to succeed are hoping for at this point," Pearson said.
Only 11 percent of people who signed up around the country so far are African American, and just 8 percent are Hispanic.
People between 18 and 34 -- who are crucial to the exchange because they are generally healthier and help subsidize coverage for older, sicker consumers -- make up 24 percent of enrollees so far.
The Obama administration established a benchmark of 40 percent enrollment for that age group.
"These are populations that are hard to reach and the discouraging conclusion is that whatever the administration is doing in terms of outreach is not working," Pearson said.
The federal government has not yet released demographic information specific to
This year the penalty for not buying insurance is rising to 2 percent of yearly household income or
In total, nearly a million Floridians signed up for coverage last year.
Consumer advocates said the state would exceed that number by the end of the current enrollment period.
"We've seen steady traffic at enrollment events," said
Duran said he expects a "surge" of consumer interest as the deadline to sign up approaches. "Last year we saw that more than half of the folks who signed up actually enrolled in the last month," Duran said.
About half of the people who enrolled in
"It's encouraging to see so many people being proactive and shopping around for a new plan," said
Ray said it was important for people to make sure they're choosing the best option for their healthcare given the number of plans on the marketplace. There are more than 90 ACA plans available in
Some navigator groups said their internal data show that new customers are much more likely to seek out in-person assistance than people who signed up last year. That may mean Americans are getting used to a law that sparked outrage in some parts of the country when it was passed in 2010.
"I think that once people get into the marketplace they can see the benefits of enrolling and become more comfortable just doing it themselves," said
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