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Covered California enrollment still on track

Signups through California's health insurance marketplace continued to ease in the second half of January, but they remain on pace to meet or exceed Covered California's target for the end of open enrollment, according to data released Wednesday by the US Department of Health and Human Services. 

Another 103,000 Californians enrolled in health plans in the second half of January, bringing the total since enrollment began on Oct. 1st to 728,000, HHS reported. 

Of that number, approximately 87 percent - about 633,000 - were eligible for federal subsidies or other assistance with their premiums. Covered California had aimed to enroll somewhere between nearly 500,000 and 700,000 subsidy-eligible customers by the end of open enrollment on March 31st.

RELATED: The full HHS report for Oct. 1, 2013-Feb. 1, 2014

The proportion of 18 to 34-year-olds signing up in the last half of January remained the same as had been reported through Dec. 31st: 25 percent of the total. Officials are struggling to increase enrollment among this group - the so-called "Young Invincibles" considered crucial to keeping overall costs down.   

This young and generally healthy group makes up 25 percent of the population, but economists figure that it needs to constitute closer to 40 percent of Covered California's clients to help keep overall costs down.

As of Feb. 1st, Covered California has determined that another 850,000 people are eligible for Medi-Cal, according to HHS. 

Nationally, 3.3 million people have selected a health insurance plan through Feb. 1st, HHS added.