DCHealthLink.com's web site. About 12,300 people and 426 small businesses have created online accounts to shop for health care in D.C.'s health care exchange
About 12,300 people and 426 small businesses have created online accounts to shop for health care in D.C.'s health care exchange, which was created by the Affordable Care Act.
DC Health Link released the data Monday, hours after President Obama gave a Rose Garden speech about the law and problems that the federal web site has had during its early days.
"We are very encouraged that the number of people visiting D.C. Health Link continues to grow," said Richard Sorian, spokesman for the District of Columbia Health Benefit Exchange Authority.
Under the Affordable Care Act -- nicknamed Obamacare -- states and the District could choose to set up their own health exchanges for residents to shop for health insurance or they could use federal exchanges. D.C. and Maryland both set up their own exchanges; Virginia stuck with the federal program.
D.C. Health Link also said 1,894 individuals and families have completed the online application required to purchase coverage on DCHealthLink.com, 321 of those have selected a health plan, and 164 have already asked for an invoice for their first month's premium.
Residents of the District who don't have insurance have until Dec. 15 to pick a plan and pay their first month's bill to get insurance starting on Jan. 1, 2014. The Affordable Care Act requires all U.S. citizens to have health insurance coverage in 2014 or face a fine.
The D.C. Health Link data covers the period from Oct. 1 to Oct. 21.