Nearly 200,000 in L.A. enroll in Obamacare, surpassing most states

Socorro Guzman, left, gets information about Obamacare from Martha Chehadi of the Whittier Health Center at an enrollment event in East Los Angeles.
(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

Nearly 200,000 people have signed up for Obamacare coverage in L.A. County, new state data show.

To put that in a national perspective, if the Los Angeles area were a state, it would have the fifth-highest enrollment in the country.

It would trail only the rest of California, Florida, New York and Texas.

L.A. County had 198,158 enrollees through the end of January. In comparison, Texas posted a total of 207,524.


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Among other states, Pennsylvania had enrollment of 123,681 through January, and Washington reported 88,945, according to federal data.

Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, the state’s health insurance exchange for the public, said “enrollment activity is going great in Los Angeles County, but we have more work to do.”

Lee said the exchange is doing more targeted outreach in the San Gabriel Valley, the San Fernando Valley and South Los Angeles, particularly among Latinos.

The Obama administration said Wednesday it’s not extending the open enrollment deadline beyond March 31. Most Americans must have health insurance this year or pay a tax penalty under the Affordable Care Act.

California’s overall enrollment has surpassed initial estimates, reaching 828,000 by mid-February. But the state continues to lag in some areas, data show.


Enrollment in Fresno, Riverside and San Bernardino counties has fallen short of projections through January, according to Covered California. Riverside County had reached only 61% of state estimates with 24,571 enrollees thus far.

Late last month, Obamacare enrollment hit 4 million across the country.


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