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More Michiganders signing up for Obamacare, but the numbers are still low

A computer screen showing HealthCare.gov in action.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

More Michiganders are signing up for health insurance through the federal Affordable Care Act.

Problems with the federal website made it difficult for people to sign up initially.

In Michigan, fewer than 1400 people signed up in October. But after a website overhaul, more than five thousand Michiganders completed the process in November.

The numbers released Wednesday by the Obama administration show more people enrolled in private plans on a federal website in November than October. But there's a long way to go for Michigan to see hundreds of thousands of residents enroll for 2014 as anticipated.

Dec. 23 is the deadline to sign up for coverage starting Jan. 1. Enrollment continues until the end of March.

Josh Fangmeier is a health policy analyst with the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation. He says most of those who’ve signed up so far have relatively high incomes.

“Of those people who are found to be marketplace eligible, only about 39% of them are found to be eligible for the tax credits and cost sharing reductions that are available on the marketplace,” says Fangmeier.

Fangmeier expects more low income Michiganders will sign up in the coming months.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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