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Federal exchange attracted 2.8 million enrollees through Dec. 5

Posted On: Dec. 9, 2015 12:00 AM CST

More than 2.8 million individuals signed up for health insurance plans through the federal exchange during the first five weeks of enrollment for 2016 coverage, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported Wednesday.

Of the 2,844,768 individuals who selected exchange coverage between Nov. 1 and Dec. 5, just over 31% — 894,338— opted for coverage between Nov. 29 and Dec. 5.

Of those opting for coverage in the 38 states in which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services operates the exchanges, 36% selected exchange coverage for the first time, and 64% renewed coverage.

Of those 38 states, the most enrollees during the first five weeks of open enrollment were in Florida, where 598,279 individuals opted for coverage, followed by Texas with 317,094 and North Carolina with 192,760.

States with the smallest exchange enrollment include Hawaii with 5,911, Alaska with 6,068 and North Dakota with 6,119.

HHS also reported that its call center received nearly 3.7 million calls from Nov. 1 through Dec. 5 with an average wait time of 6 minutes and 9 seconds.