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40,000 Ohioans among 2.2M consumers enrolled in Obamacare

Nearly 40,000 Ohioans have chosen health plans offered on the state’s health care marketplace through the first three months of a six-month enrollment period, according to new government data released today.

That compares to less than 6,000 Ohioans who enrolled in health plans through the marketplaces created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the first two months of enrollment that began Oct. 1 last year, according to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

But statewide enrollment tended to be slightly older than the national average, with only 19 percent of marketplace enrollees in Ohio falling in the 18-34 age range, while 24 percent of the 2.2 million marketplace enrollees nationwide were 18-34 as of Dec. 28, HHS reported.

That compares with a target closer to 38 percent set before the program’s botched October 1 rollout, when administration officials believed that about 2.7 million of a forecast 7 million potential enrollees for 2014 would be between 18 and 35 to help offset the cost of covering sicker consumers, according to Reuters.

Health policy experts say the administration may still get closer to that ratio by the time 2014 enrollment closes at the end of March, when more young Americans sign up to avoid the penalty for not being insured under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

Administration officials pointed to today’s data as an encouraging start, particularly given the technology failures that stalled access to the federal enrollment website in October and November.

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