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Obamacare exchange enrollment increases in the state

Enrollment increased in every county in the state on the New York health insurance exchange by the close Tuesday of the 2017 open enrollment period for Obamacare.

More than 3.6 million New Yorkers enrolled in health insurance programs offered through the exchange during the enrollment period that began Nov. 1, including 192,747 people in the eight counties of Western New York, according to a state report.

That's up from the 2.8 million people enrolled statewide as of Jan. 31, 2016, when there were 150,493 enrolled in this region.

Consumers shopping on the exchange can choose from a range of plans, as well as the low-cost, no-frills Essential plan or Medicaid if they qualify based on income. The Essential Plan covers adults who are not eligible for Medicaid and have incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level.

Statewide, officials reported 2.4 million enrolled in Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the poor and disabled; 665,324 in the state's Essential Plan; 299,214 in Child Health Plus, a state insurance plan for children; and 242,800 people in private qualified health plans. Nearly 60 percent of the enrollees in the private health plans qualified for federal tax credits to reduce monthly premiums.

The exchange was created by the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, as a way for people who don't have coverage through work to obtain health insurance. President Donald J. Trump and Republicans in Congress have vowed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but have not settled on a plan.

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