Nearly 44,000 used federal exchange for health insurance

Nearly 44,000 Alabamians used the federal health care exchange to sign up for health insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act, more popularly known as Obamacare.The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that 18,024 Alabamians signed up in January. Although the sign-ups kicked off to a slow start in October with 624, by the end of November that number increased to 2,824. In December, the number of Alabamians signing up for Obamacare under the federal health care exchange skyrocketed to 25,839. They grew to 43,863 by the end of January.The department says 59 percent of those who have enrolled in health insurance plans through the health exchange are women and slightly more than half of those who have signed up are between 45 and 64.The federal exchange offers plans at bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels. The department reports 73 percent of Alabamians have chosen the silver plan.