(Reuters) - Roughly 11.5 million people signed up for individual health plan coverage under U.S. President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24, an increase of 286,000 from a year earlier, according to government figures released on Tuesday.
The report includes data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and is the first time the government has released data from the state-run marketplaces. Of the total enrolled population, 8.7 million people signed up for federally run plans through Healthcare.gov.
The figures, released by the Department of Health and Human Services, said the total included 8.9 million returning consumers and 2.6 million new ones.
The report comes as the U.S. Senate takes its first steps toward repealing the Affordable Care Act, known also as Obamacare, which extended health insurance coverage to some 20 million people who previously did not have coverage.
The health bill came under intense criticism during the last few weeks of the 2016 election campaign after the government released figures showing 2017 Healthcare.gov premiums would rise by 25 percent compared with 2016.
Reporting by Toni Clarke in Washington; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Tom Brown