Health exchange enrolls more than 136,000 before December deadline

Health insurance enrollment exceeds 136,000 in Md.

About 136,685 people enrolled in policies through the state's health exchange as of the Dec. 18 deadline for coverage beginning Jan. 1, Gov. Martin O'Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown reported Friday.

The exchange was created under the Affordable Care Act for those who don't get insurance through an employer. Open enrollment began Nov. 15 and runs for 90 days, and officials had been pressing people who needed coverage in the new year to sign up.

Those who get subsidies need to re-enroll to keep their benefits, though it's unclear how many still needed the insurance of the approximately 65,000 who bought and kept their plans last year.

The total enrolling includes 79,987 people who bought private plans, with the remainder enrolling in Medicaid, the federal-state health program for low-income people.

Officials noted that the exchange website, marylandhealthconnection.gov, is functioning well, unlike last year when users faced technical glitches that thwarted their efforts to enroll.

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