Obamacare sign-ups outpace last year despite uncertainty

Florida leads the way with 514,000 people signed up for coverage on healthcare.gov as more Americans have selected 2017 coverage through the Obamacare marketplace than did  so by this time last year, officials said Wednesday — even as the health law’s future remains uncertain at best under a new administration that vows to repeal and replace it.

More than 2.1 million people have selected plans since open enrollment began on Nov. 1, an increase of 167,000 over the same point last year, federal officials said. The outgoing administration has urged consumers to enroll by Dec. 15 for coverage that starts Jan. 1.

medical dollarsHealth and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a statement, “I continue to encourage all Americans who need health insurance for 2017 to visit healthcare.gov and check out their options.”

So far this year, Florida has more than twice the number of  sign-ups as No. 2 Texas among states that use the federal exchange.

Incoming administration and congressional officials have been discussing how long a grace period to give people to continue using marketplace plans if they repeal the law or vote to remove its funding. Federal subsidies help keep monthly premiums below $75 for about 80 percent of Florida consumers using the federal exchange, and about 9 in 10 get subsidies of some kind.

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