Bleak health care enrollment numbers released, participants 1/5 of administration estimates

First round of numbers from administration

WASHINGTON - WASHINGTON (AP) -- The administration says fewer than 27,000 people managed to enroll for health insurance last month in the 36 states relying on the problem-filled federal website for President Barack Obama's overhaul.

The dismal numbers released Wednesday by federal health officials were even lower than estimates recently circulated. There was one bright spot: States running their own websites did better than the feds, reporting more than 79,000 sign-ups.

Even so, total private insurance enrollment after the first month of the health care rollout was only about one-fifth what the administration had expected during that time period.

Enrollment numbers totaled 106,185. A Sept. 5 administration estimate had projected that 494,620 people would enroll in the first month.

Just under 7,000 Oklahomans completed applications during the system's introductory month, with only 346 selecting a marketplace plan, according to data released by the Department of Health and Human Services Wednesday.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says she expects things to improve, specifically as glitches plaguing www.Healthcare.gov are expected to subside.

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