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Md. reports 80,000 health care enrollments

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland’s health department says more than 80,000 residents have enrolled in health coverage through the state’s insurance exchange since the second open enrollment period began Nov. 15.

The agency is urging eligible residents to enroll or renew their plans by Dec. 18 for insurance that starts on New Year’s Day.

The newly designed website apparently works better than the one that crashed last year just after it opened.

Officials are urging people who enrolled during the first period to re-enroll, partly because newly available plans might offer a better deal.

The agency says re-enrollment also will ensure that eligible customers receive the correct subsidies for coverage starting in 2015.

The nearly 80,400 enrollments as of Thursday include about 45,000 in private insurance plans and about 35,000 in Medicaid.