2,393 Marylanders buy health insurance on state exchange

Almost 2,400 Marylanders have bought insurance in the first 17 days that the state's new health care exchange has been open, according to new data released by the Maryland Health Connection.

The exchange had a bumpy start, with users experiencing delays and technical troubles. And while officials say the troubles are still being addressed, they say the number of people using the site has ramped up. The total number of enrollees has doubled in the last week.

Officials from the exchange, where the uninsured and underinsured can shop for coverage, also reported Friday that there have been more than 261,000 unique visitors to the website and more than 25,100 calls to the call centers.

Almost 34,900 have created accounts – a sticking point for many users. They must register before browsing plans and many have reported problems.

The state also reported more than 23,100 have been told if they will receive subsidies to buy insurance.

As previously reported, the state said more than 82,000 Marylanders will automatically be enrolled in Medicaid coverage on Jan. 1. Others who buy a health insurance policy on the exchange by mid-December will be covered on Jan. 1. In general, under the federal Affordable Care Act, the uninsured has until March to enroll.

State officials say they will continue outreach events to encourage people to enroll.

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