Obamacare Sign-Ups Focus Of Federal Visit

HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell visits a CVS pharmace in Lakewood to promote enrollment in the federal marketplace.
HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell visits a CVS pharmace in Lakewood to promote enrollment in the federal marketplace.

The secretary talked with a small group of CVS executives as she took in the expansive store blocks away for the shores of Lake Erie.

Shoppers dressed in their heavy coats on such a cold day watched the group walk past rows of groceries and health supplies before going to a podium at the back of the store.

"You all probably know this is my second visit to Ohio," Burwell says. "Ohio is an important state, it's a large state. It's a state where we think there is a lot of opportunity with a number of uninsured to make progress."

Nearly 90,000 Ohioans signed up for individual health insurance in the federal marketplace before the Dec. 15 deadline. That insurance took effect as of January 1. The deadline to enroll for coverage this year is Feb. 15.

Secretary Burwell also emphasized the job wasn't yet complete.

"Glad that we are where we are but know that we have a lot of work to do with our partners in making sure that we are reaching out," Burwell says.

Last year, about 154,000 Ohioans enrolled in the marketplace. One analysis estimated that was only 16 percent of potential marketplace enrollees.

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