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Federal health insurance exchange signups continue to rise

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Enrollment keeps climbing in the federal health insurance exchange and now tops 8.8 million, according to the latest U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services report.

Of the 8,836,102 individuals who selected exchange coverage between Nov. 1 and Jan.16, 153,631 opted for coverage between Jan. 10 and Jan. 16.

Enrollment in the federal exchange, according to the CMS report released Thursday, is significantly higher compared with about the same period a year ago. From Nov. 15, 2014 through Jan. 16, 2015, just under 7.2 million individuals had enrolled in plans offered through the exchange.

Of the 38 states in which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services operates the exchange, the most enrollees during the first 11 weeks of open enrollment were in Florida, where 1,605,623 individuals opted for coverage followed by Texas with 1,152,013 and North Carolina with 569,649.

States with the smallest exchange enrollment include Hawaii with 12,764, North Dakota, 20,326 and Alaska, 21,830.