ALBANY, NY -- New York enrolled a record number of individuals in its health exchange this year.
NY State of Health announced the number of enrollees hit 4.3 million in the state's exchange, up about 700,000 people compared to 2017. The registration deadline was Jan. 31.
“Covering 4.3 million New Yorkers is truly a historic milestone,” Donna Frescatore, the exchange's executive director, said in a statement.
“More consumers than ever before are using the marketplace for their health plan needs, proving that demand for quality, affordable coverage is at an all-time.”
The increase in enrollment comes despite a change in federal policy in December that ended a mandate under the Affordable Care Act that individuals have health insurance or face a tax penalty.
Also, New York had a 4 percent increase in enrollment in its private health-insurance program as part of the exchange, despite rates that are growing about 15 percent.
Overall, the enrollment in so-called Obamacare is made up largely of people on Medicaid, or about 2.9 million of the total.
About 739,000 enrolled in the Essential Plan, a low-deductible program for income-eligible residents. The Essential Plan, though, faces an uncertain future as the federal government is planning to cut $1 billion in aid to New York for it, saying the program no longer needs to be funded.
New York is fighting to get the money restored, or the loss could put a larger hole in its $4.4 billion budget gap for the fiscal year that starts April 1.
The state began its health plan marketplace in October 2013 as part of the Affordable Care Act.