N.Y. Exchange Says 40,000 Have Applied For Coverage

New York’s online insurance exchange on Tuesday said more than 40,000 people have completed applications for coverage so far, though not all have chosen a health plan.

Officials from the exchange, called NY State of Health, said these applicants were found eligible to buy a health plan.

Nationally, nearly 80,000 people have applied for coverage in the state exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, according to a Kaiser Health News tally of ten states that have disclosed numbers of applications submitted. Several state exchanges are not yet releasing figures, nor  is the federal government which is doing enrollment for 36 states.

“This fast pace of sign-ups shows that New York State’s exchange is working smoothly with an overwhelming response from New Yorkers eager to get access to low cost health insurance,” said Donna Frescatore, executive director of NY State of Health said. “We will continue to encourage our state’s residents to sign up for health insurance online, over the phone and at the hundreds of on-site centers we have across New York.”

The exchange said its customer service center operators have provided assistance to more than 26,000 callers.

Open enrollment runs through March 31, 2014, but shoppers must complete applications by Dec. 15 for coverage to start in January.