9,600 more people get health plans in Md., weekly report shows

The Maryland health exchange has enrolled another 9,600 people in health insurance, according to the exchange's weekly report.

The bulk, about 7,500, enrolled in Medicaid, the health program for the poor. Another 2,053 enrolled in private health plans during the week ending Feb. 8, bringing the total in private plans to 31,112.

Maryland was one of 14 states that chose to runs its own exchange where the uninsured and underinsured could buy health insurance. The enrollment numbers are far below goals set for the exchange during open enrollment, which lasts through March 31.

Exchange officials blame software glitches, as well as in-fighting among contractors, for the problems. But they say many defects have been fixed and those going onto the exchange now are having an easier time getting through the system.

In total, 179,092 people have enrolled in coverage through the exchange website created as part of the federal Affordable Care Act, including tens of thousands who were automatically moved from a bare-bones state program to Medicaid. Initially, the exchange projected 260,000 people would gain coverage on the website by the end of March.

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