More than 100,000 newly insured in Washington

SEATTLE — Officials say more than 100,000 Washington residents have signed up for private insurance since Oct. 1 through the state’s new health care exchange.

That’s an increase of about 15,000 people in the past month.

Another 82,000 people have picked a health plan through the exchange and just need to pay the premium.

And more than 406,000 Washington residents now have free or low-cost insurance through the state’s Medicaid program.

Open enrollment for private insurance goes through the end of March, but Medicaid is open year-round.

The Washington exchange has a goal of selling private insurance to 340,000 people by the end of March, according to a federal report of enrollment targets.

New TV commercials for the exchange began running last week, in an effort to push enrollment toward that goal.

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