NY health enrollment keeps rising

March 19, 2014 Updated Mar 19, 2014 at 8:06 AM EDT

By Tracey Drury, Buffalo Business First

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NY health enrollment keeps rising

March 19, 2014 Updated Mar 19, 2014 at 8:06 AM EDT

With less than two weeks to go til the close of enrollment for 2014 health insurance, officials with New York's online health exchange announced nearly a million individuals have completed applications for coverage, with 666,397 individuals enrolling for coverage.

The New York State Department of Health reported enrollment increased this week alone by nearly 76,000. The deadline to enroll for coverage this year is March 31.

Since the exchange became operational on Oct. 1, a total of 995,038 New Yorkers had completed applications as of 9 a.m. on March 18. The number is expected to continue to climb over the next 13 days until the federal deadline.

Nationally, more than 5 million individuals have enrolled through federal and state-based marketplaces, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which credited a "weekend wave" of consumers signing up for coverage.

Officials in New York said the state is on track to hit its individual enrollment goal of 1.1 million people by the end of 2016.

"Activity on the NY State of Health marketplace continues to be very high," said Donna Frescatore, executive director of NY State of Health. "We urge all new Yorkers to enroll in time, and we remind those who have completed applications to select a health plan before open enrollment closes."

Since the site launched, customer service center representatives have answered more than 837,000 phone calls, while thousands more have been served one-on-one by 8,500 trained and certified assistors working throughout the state.

Information is available at nystateofhealth.ny.gov.

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