Obamacare members could exceed 12 mn

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Chicago, Feb 16: A few hours after the closing of the registration deadline for US President Barak Obama's healthcare plan, it is estimated that 12 million people signed up for insurance within the framework of the health reform undertaken by the president making coverage compulsory for all, media reports said.

Various health insurance markets in the last hours of Sunday's deadline recorded an increase in the number of people who want to qualify for the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as "Obamacare".

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Although some states such as California, New York and Massachusetts extended the deadline for processing by at least a week, applicants in the rest of the country may complete the application procedure and choice of a health plan in the coming days.

Charles Gaba, who is in charge of the website ACASignups.net that keeps track of the registrations at the national level, estimated that the number would reach 12.5 million Sunday, USA Today reported.

Gaba said he was confident they would reach that number whose prediction exceeds the estimates of the Congressional Budget Office of 12 million.

Gaba added he was surprised by the number of registrations coming from Florida and Texas (1.4 million and 1 million respectively), the two states governed by Republicans who opposed the Obamacare plan.

After resolving a technical failure that occurred Saturday evening on the federal page HealthCare.gov that serves 37 states, there were still about 60,000 users online Sunday, the highest number recorded since Dec 15, according to USA Today.

The Latin population represents about a third of people who do not have health insurance in the US, but make up just 10 percent of those who enrolled in the second phase of Obamacare which began last November.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported that in the 37 states where the health insurance market is administered by the federal government, 7 percent of Latins enrolled in the first period of 2014, and 10 percent in 2015.

Around 71 percent and 66 percent of non-Hispanic whites enrolled in the two registration periods of Obama's healthcare plan.

IANS

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