Obama administration upbeat about health law sign-ups

Health Overhaul
FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2015 file photo, the HealthCare.gov website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Washington. The Obama administration says it expects only slight coverage gains next year for the health care law’s online insurance markets. It’s getting harder to sign up the uninsured. On Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a target of 10 million people enrolled and paying their premiums by the end of 2016. This year’s goal was 9.1 million paying customers, and the administration has said it’s on track to meet that. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says the 2016 sign-up season for the president’s health care law is going strong.

Officials said on Tuesday that halfway through enrollment season more than 8.2 million people have signed up or renewed coverage through HealthCare.gov.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell says more first-time customers are signing up and the number of young adults enrolling is also increasing.

HealthCare.gov’s website and call center serve residents of 38 states. Tuesday’s statistics don’t include states running their own health insurance websites, such as California and New York.

Florida topped the federal tally, with 1.5 million enrolled. Texas was next with 1 million.

The numbers cover the period from Nov. 1 through Dec. 19.

Open enrollment ends Jan. 31. Those remaining uninsured after that date risk fines.

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