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While many folks are now shopping for the holidays the healthcare marketplace, also known as Obamacare has opened for enrollment for 2016.

According to officials the federal healthcare marketplace saw almost 550,000 people sign up for health insurance plans in the first week of open enrollment for 2016 with one-third of the shoppers being new to HealthCare.gov. The other two-thirds of the folks renewed and updated coverage for this year.

A total of 543,098 people signed up for plans for 2016 in the first week on HealthCare.gov which started in November.

There was an unknown number of customers that signed up on other Obamacare exchanges. n order for coverage to go into effect and be officially counted as a customer the first month’s premium payment must be paid.

Officials estimate there are still 10.5 million eligible uninsured people needing to enroll. Concerns the officials have about reaching the uninsured are the cost of the health insurance, and confusion about the federal financial assistance available to most of people, known as subsidies, to help pay for insurance coverage.

According to HealthCare.gov more than 8 out of 10 customers of Obamacare qualify for assistance with subsidies.

The Affordable Care Act mandates most Americans must have health coverage or possibly be face fines. According to officials the uninsured will see a rise in the fines in 2016 for not having health insurance. The fines for 2016 will be around $695 per adult or 2.5 percent of taxable household income.

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