CHICAGO (AP) - Federal officials say more than 7,000 Illinois residents signed up for insurance coverage in the first two months of the troubled HealthCare.gov website.
Enrollment figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services show the pace picking up for President Barack Obama's new health insurance markets.
But the Illinois tally is still less than 30 percent of what federal officials originally projected the state's enrollment would be after two months. Illinois is relying on the federal website because the Legislature didn't approve a state-run marketplace
Consumers face a Dec. 23 enrollment deadline if they want to have coverage to start Jan. 1.
In October, when the website was barely working, only 1,370 Illinois residents managed to select a health insurance plan and enroll.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The U.S. Department of Health and Senior Services reports 4,124 Missouri residents have selected a health insurance plan through the federally run online marketplace.
The department released the figures Wednesday. HHS said the insurance exchange had more than 31,000 applications from Missouri through Nov. 30. The applications sought coverage for nearly 63,000 people.
Enrollment is up from early November when just 751 Missourians had selected a health insurance plan. The federal health care law set up online marketplaces to help people find affordable insurance but the rollout of the website has been troubled.
The federal agency says that as of Nov. 30, about 137,000 people have enrolled in the 36 states served by the federal website.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department will soon have an additional $22,000 to find and stop drunken drivers.
The county council agreed to accept $22,000 from the state. The Post-Dispatch reports the county only took the money on the condition that the funds be used for DUI checkpoints and not safety checkpoints. County residents argued earlier this year that safety checkpoints, which include checks for seat belt usage, violated their civil rights. The backlash was so great that the county rejected a grant in October that would have funded DUI and safety checkpoints.
The grant money will be split between covering the cost of officer overtime to man the checkpoints and equipment--such as road flares and safety vests.