- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Nearly 46,000 Louisiana residents signed up for private insurance coverage through the federally-run marketplace by last month’s end, a steadily-growing enrollment rate that still falls short of an Obama administration target.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the latest enrollment data across states Tuesday, covering five months of sign-ups under the government-subsidized private insurance program created under President Barack Obama’s health overhaul.

By March 1, Louisiana had 45,561 people who selected a marketplace plan, an addition of about 12,700 enrollees. But that was less than two-thirds of the Obama administration’s goal of enrolling 75,200 by that point.

The enrollment period ends this month.

The marketplace offers health insurance options for people who are uninsured or who currently pay for individual policies, rather than getting insurance through their jobs. Subsidies are available to low- and middle-income families.

Four companies are offering insurance options through the federally-run marketplace in Louisiana, though one insurer is only selling marketplace coverage in a single parish.

Eighty-seven percent of Louisiana residents who registered for insurance have received federal subsidies to help cover costs. Nearly two-thirds of the enrollees have chosen “silver” plans, which are considered mid-level in price and coverage.

More women have signed up than men, and the coverage is spread among age groups. Twenty-nine percent of enrollees are ages 18 to 34, while another 29 percent are in the costlier age group of 55 to 64.

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