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15K New Mexicans enroll through health exchange

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Obama administration reports about 15,000 New Mexicans have signed up for health insurance plans through a federal online marketplace during its first five months of operation.

The enrollment figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed about 3,400 people signed up during February. Open enrollment ends this month.

New Mexico is using the federally operated website to enroll individuals. Businesses can enroll through a state-run exchange.

From October through February, 15,012 people selected an insurance plan. Older New Mexicans — ages 35 to 64 — accounted for about 73 percent of enrollment.

Enrolling younger, healthy Americans is considered critical for keeping insurance premiums from rising in the future because older adults tend to have greater health problems and are more costly to serve.

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