Health overhaul sign-ups edge higher

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WASHINGTON (AP) – With a month to go in the 2015 open enrollment season, the Obama administration says sign-ups under the president’s health care law are edging higher.

The Health and Human Services Department says at least 163,000 people signed up last week for subsidized private health insurance.

That brings the total to nearly 6.8 million people in 37 states where the federal government is running the new health insurance markets.

National figures should be significantly higher, since the federal count doesn’t include major states like California and New York, among those running their own exchanges. An updated national total will be available later.

The administration is expecting a surge near the Feb. 15 enrollment deadline. The goal is 9.1 million people nationwide signed up and paying premiums for 2015.