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Over 200,000 Ohioans Sign Up For Obamacare During Open Enrollment

A screen shot from healthcare.gov, the website for the Affordable Care Act health plans.
A screen shot from healthcare.gov, the website for the Affordable Care Act health plans.

A report released today finds more than 202,000 Ohio residents have signed up during this open enrollment period. That’s more than 45,000 more than the number who enrolled last time around through the federal marketplace.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says about 12,000 people in the Dayton area have signed up in the last three months.

"Millions of Americans are counting on the Affordable Care Act," said Kathleen Falk, the regional director for HHS covering Ohio. "It’s part of their lives. It’s working for middle class families. It’s making people healthier. It’s holding down healthcare costs. And it’s strengthening the financial security of working Americans."

The most recent marketplace numbers are on top of hundreds of thousands who’ve gotten Medicaid coverage, which is now available to a larger number of low-income people in the state. Anyone who is uninsured and wants to avoid a penalty next year is required to sign up by February 15, and most people who enroll get subsidies.

This year the number of insurers offering plans on the federal exchange in Ohio jumped from 12 to 16, and while prices of some plans went up, more low-cost options were added. The penalty for not having coverage in 2015 will go up from last year's penalty to a minimum of $325, but won't be charged until next year's tax filing season.

Those who make below 138 percent of the federal poverty level will generally be referred to Medicaid, which is a free program.

Enrollment through the federal exchange is available at healthcare.gov; the state of Ohio encourages those who think they might qualify for Medicaid to go to benefits.ohio.gov to find out.