- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Federal officials report that more than 55,000 Alabamians have selected a health insurance plan through the federal facilitated health insurance exchange.

A report Tuesday from the Department of Health and Human Services said 55,034 Alabamians registered between the opening of enrollment Oct. 1 and the end of February. That’s less than the 65,600 goal federal health officials set in September.

Of those who have signed up in Alabama, 59 percent are women, which is higher than the national average of 55 percent.

The biggest age group signing up is 55 to 64. They account for 30 percent of the enrollment. The next biggest group is 45 to 54 with 22 percent of the enrollment. That follows national trends.

Eighty-six percent of the Alabamians who signed up qualified for financial assistance. That’s higher than the national average of 83 percent.

The enrollment period ends March 31.

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