Health Care

Maryland ObamaCare signups double from last year

Maryland roughly doubled the number of people who signed up on its ObamaCare health exchange from last year, avoiding the technical problems that plagued the effort in 2014. 

{mosads}Around 119,000 people enrolled in private health insurance plans through the exchange ahead of Sunday’s deadline. Last year, around 63,000 people did. 

The results come in a stronger year for sign-ups nationally, as well. The Obama administration announced on Tuesday that 11.4 million people have enrolled, compared to around 7 million last year. 

Last year, the Maryland exchange website, like the federal one, suffered from major technical problems. The complications were a headache for then-Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who is considering a run for president in 2016. 

While some pressed for the state to adopt the federal website, it instead rebuilt its site following last year’s enrollment period using software from Connecticut’s exchange, which became a model for other states. 

Carolyn Quattrocki, the exchange’s executive director, called the numbers “a success.”

“Here’s to a much healthier Maryland in 2015,” she said in a statement.

There is also a significant chance for the sign-up number to grow. Maryland has extended the deadline until Feb. 28 for people who started their applications but did not finish them. That is a week longer than the federal extension, which runs through this Sunday. 

States and the federally run exchanges may allow people another chance to sign-up, too. This would give those without health insurance one more chance to sign up to avoid paying a tax penalty. 


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