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 Human Services reports that only 751 Missouri residents selected a health insurance plan through a federally run online marketplace during the first month of its troubled launch.
HHS released the figures Wednesday. The department said the insurance exchange had about 14,100 completed applications from Missouri from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2. Those applications sought coverage for about 28,000 people.
The federal government did not say how many of the people selecting a health plan had started paying premiums.
Nationally, HHS says fewer than 27,000 people signed up for health insurance through the federal exchange.
The federal health care overhaul set up online marketplaces to help people find affordable insurance, but the rollout of the HHS website has been rocky from the start.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Florissant home health care worker is charged with third-degree abuse for allegedly using a belt to beat a group home resident who soiled a car as the pair returned from a shopping trip.
KMOV-TV reports that 23-year-old Daniel Bonner was charged Tuesday with a misdemeanor offense in St. Louis County Circuit Court.
He is accused of assaulting a man with mild retardation and schizophrenia in late September while working at a group home managed by Preferred Alternatives Inc. in St. Charles. The company says Bonner has since been fired. Online court records don't list an attorney for Bonner.
The group home resident was treated at an area hospital for cuts and bruises.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois prison officials estimate nearly 30,000 newly freed inmates will be eligible for Medicaid coverage in 2014 under President Barack Obama's health care law.
The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports state officials say better access to care for physical and mental health issues may help parolees succeed outside of prison.
The Department of Corrections plans eventually to help inmates connect with Medicaid before they're released, so they can make a smooth transition into the state and federal health care program for the poor.
Illinois is among about 26 states planning to expand Medicaid benefits to childless adults under the Affordable Care Act. Last year's Supreme Court decision upheld the law, but made Medicaid expansion optional for states.
Many parolees in the past didn't qualify for Medicaid benefits.