Covered Cal welcomes 238,000

More than 238,000 new consumers have enrolled for private health care insurance via Covered California, officials say.

Obamacare in California logo - health exchangeThe report comes as the third Obamacare enrollment period enters its final month.

In addition, more than 124,000 Covered California consumers signed up for optional family dental coverage, which is new this signup period. The figures are of Jan. 2.

Meanwhile, the federal government said 11.3 million have enrolled nationwide for coverage in 2016. California was second nationally in total enrollments, with 1.4 signed up, following Florida (1.5 million).

Open enrollment began Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 31.

“We’re seeing unprecedented demand for marketplace coverage with more than 11.3 million people signed up for coverage,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said. “We’re encouraged that marketplace consumers are increasingly young, engaged and shopping for the best plan.”

Younger consumers are vital to the overall Obamacare scheme, as they are less expensive and help hold down premiums. Nearly 26 percent of those who signed up for 2016 are between the ages of 18 and 34.

Covered California said it had more than 500 events set for the final month of enrollment: “The fact that so many enrollment events are scheduled at libraries, health centers, malls and churches is a testament to the fact that the Affordable Care Act is becoming part of the fabric of local communities across the state,” executive director Peter Lee said.

The state Obamacare operation said it has opened a “comprehensive” enrollment center in Hawthorne. The L.A.-area center, inside the Hawthorne Memorial Center, “brings certified enrollers, health insurance companies and Covered California together.”

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