Health Exchanges Exceed Targets For First Time

Source: Amy Goldstein / The Washington Post

For the first time since the federal and state health-insurance marketplaces opened early last fall, the number of people who signed up for coverage exceeded the government’s expectations for the month in January, bringing the overall total to about 3.3 million.

Across the country, nearly 1.2 million people enrolled in health plans last month through the new insurance exchanges — more than federal officials had envisioned when they compiled monthly targets late last summer, weeks before the sign-ups began.

The figure is part of a detailed report  issued Wednesday by the Obama administration, providing the latest look at how the effort to extend health insurance to more Americans is faring.

The report suggests that January was the first month in which enrollment was not dampened by serious computer defects, which initially stymied people trying to use the federal online marketplace, HealthCare.gov, and some of the 14 similar marketplaces run by states.

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