Obamacare sign ups jump to 3.3 million

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NEW YORK, NY — Obamacare exchanges grew in popularity in January with 1.1 million people picking health insurance plans in state and federal exchanges last month.

That brings total sign-ups since the exchanges opened four months ago to 3.3 million, according to federal data released Wednesday.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office last week projected that 6 million people would enroll in the exchanges for coverage for 2014. That estimate was previously downgraded from 7 million because of the vast technical problems that plagued the initial roll out of the exchanges.

Not all of the 3.3 million people have paid for their plans. Insurers interviewed last month by CNNMoney said only about 80% have sent in their first month’s premium. Those who don’t pay will see their plan choice voided, leaving them uninsured.

Some 31% of people signing up are age 34 and younger, a crucial metric since insurers want to attract healthier individuals to balance out older, sicker enrollees. And 82% are eligible to receive federal subsidies to defray the cost of premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

By Tami Luhby

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