- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 17, 2014

Covered California said Thursday more than 200,000 consumers selected private health plans on its Obamacare exchange from April 1 to the April 15 deadline, bringing the total number of sign-ups on the state-run health exchange to nearly 1.4 million.

California, by far the most populous state, accounted for an outsized proportion of enrollment during the health care law’s inaugural sign-up period from October to March 31. Many states allowed consumers to finish up their applications until mid-April, resulting in a new round of enrollment reporting.

Officials said a one-day record of more than 50,000 people signed up on the final day, April 15.

“We are proud of what California has achieved, but recognize this is only the beginning of a long road of expanding affordable coverage to all Californians,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said.

Latino enrollment accounted for more than a quarter of the sign-ups, at 305,106, clearing a base projection of 265,000, officials said.

Officials said 29 percent of consumers were ages 18 to 34 years old, a relatively healthy demographic that is vital to making the economics of Obamacare work.

Analysts say that, ideally, 40 percent of enrollees through Obamacare should be in the 18-34 age group, although the Obama administration sought to downplay that benchmark as young enrollment came in at closer to 25 percent.