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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida leads the nation with 1.3 million residents signing up for 2017 coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act.

The deadline to enroll for coverage to begin January 1st was last Monday.

Floridians seeking health insurance through the federal marketplace were up more than 14 percent from the 1.14 million Floridians who had signed up during the same time last year, federal officials said. More than 1.5 million Floridians were covered by the federal program, which is also known as Obamacare, in 2016.

The 1.3 million Floridians signed up for 2017 coverage will grow, as the number does not include consumers who were automatically enrolled in the program.

Floridians can still enroll in Obamacare through Jan. 31, with the coverage beginning March 1st.

Updated numbers, including the automatic enrollees, will be released next month.

Florida’s Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said the record 6.4 million people who signed up nationally for the January 1st coverage, reflects the fact that the federal health care program “is vital to them and their families.”

Burwell said the federal health care program faces “head winds” as President-elect Donald Trump and Congress have vowed to repeal Obamacare. But she said Floridians who sign up for the 2017 coverage will be covered through next year, as the debate evolves over repealing and replacing the program in Washington, D.C.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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