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Two months into its launch, 109,296 Californians have enrolled in health coverage through the state's new insurance marketplace, officials said Thursday.

The figures, which came a day after the latest federal release, show the exchange is steadily increasing enrollment even as it struggles to reach certain demographics.

In the first week of December, 144,000 Californians completed applications and 49,708 enrolled in a plan - a rate of 7,100 per day or 15 times the agency's initial rate.

"We are seeing momentum," said Peter V. Lee, the executive director of Covered California.

The exchange wants to enroll 500,000 to 70,000 subsidy-eligible individuals before April.

An estimated 777,000 people seeking coverage began the application process between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30. Another 179,000 were deemed likely eligible for Medi-Cal. Customers must enroll by Dec. 23 to receive coverage by Jan. 1. Enrollment continues through March 31 for the remainder of next year.

Lee said the agency would review its marketing efforts before the year's end to reach certain trailing demographic groups.

More than 88 percent of enrollees are English speakers, while the category accounts for just 56 percent of the statewide population. Speakers of Spanish, Asian, Indo-European and other languages were all underrepresented.

Older Californians also continued to be over-represented. Those 45 to 64 years comprised 58 percent of the pool despite making up just 25 percent of the population.

PHOTO: The executive director of Covered California, Peter V. Lee, speaks to members of the media during the launch of Covered California in Rancho Cordova on Oct. 1, 2013. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton.


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