- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Federal statistics show 74,500 Oregonians have signed up for private health insurance plans via the federal exchange portal.

The data released Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid include newly insured Oregonians, as well as those who already had insurance but shopped around and actively re-enrolled via HealthCare.Gov.

The figure does not include Oregonians who are insured but decided not to shop for a different plan and will be automatically re-enrolled in their current plan.

Citing heavy last-minute demand, U.S. health officials extended the deadline to sign up for health insurance coverage that would take effect Jan. 1. The new deadline is Thursday at midnight.

The final sign-up deadline is Jan. 31, but for those who sign up after the deadline coverage will start in February.

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