Nearly 40,000 Ohio residents have successfully picked health insurance plans through the new online marketplace created by President Barack Obama's law.
A report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services details enrollment numbers from Oct. 1 through Dec. 28.
Ohio is among the 36 states relying on the federal website, HealthCare.gov. Monday's figures show a significant spike in sign-ups compared with October, when the troubled website wasn't working properly. Just 1,150 Ohioans had managed to select a plan then, compared with 34,283 last month.
On Wednesday, Ohio Governor John Kasich announced the launch of a statewide drug education program called “Start Talking.” The program encourages parents and teachers to talk to young people about the dangers of heroin and prescription drugs.
At the launch event at West Carrollton Middle School south of Dayton, many of the speeches were emotional.
Ohio officials say they've received more than 17,000 applications from people seeking Medicaid health coverage through a new state website.
The online enrollment option became available Dec. 9 to eligible low-income families, along with individuals who fell under an expansion of the federal-state program for the poor and disabled. It wasn't clear how many online applications came from those newly eligible under the Medicaid extension.
A spokesman for the state's Medicaid department says the website has been working smoothly.