More than 820,000 people have selected a Covered California health insurance plan through the Golden State’s public marketplace through the first two weeks of February, exceeding the state’s open enrollment goal through March 31 of 700,000 enrollees for 2014, officials said Wednesday. 

The data released by Covered California also updated the total number of enrollees as of Jan. 31. More than 1.6 million Californians selected a plan including those who enrolled in low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid expansion. In the first two weeks of February alone, more than 100,000 Californians selected a health insurance plan.

Through Jan. 31, 80% of all enrollees have paid their first month’s premium, insurers reported to the state.  Further, through the end of January, online applications had been started for about 3 million people, including both health insurance and Medi-Cal.

Most subsidy-eligible consumers who enrolled — 451,074, or about 62% — signed up for a silver plan, the second-lowest-costing plan of the four plan tiers, the state said. About 86% of consumers across all tiers received some sort of financial assistance.

Ninety-two percent of total enrollment was in plans through Anthem Blue Cross of California, Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente and Health Net.

SHOP exchanges

Separately, the state said that 571 small businesses totaling nearly 5,000 employees and dependents have applied for coverage through Covered California’s Small Business Health Options Program.

However, on Feb. 12, Covered California announced it was suspending online SHOP enrollment to implement redesigns with a return expected in fall 2014. Enrollment continues through paper applications.

“The SHOP portal was not meeting the needs of agents or small employers and needed improvements,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee in a statement. “Taking the portal offline will not affect the paper application process, which has been the preferred enrollment method traditionally used by insurance agents in the small-group market.”

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