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U.S. says over 106,000 sign up for Obamacare plans in October

The federal government forms for applying for health coverage are seen at a rally held by supporters of the Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as "Obamacare", outside the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center in Jackson, Mississippi October 4, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

(Reuters) - The U.S. government said on Wednesday that 106,185 people signed up for health coverage nationally under President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law during October, the first month of its troubled roll-out.

The figure include 26,794 people who signed up for private health insurance plans through the technologically-challenged federal marketplace serving 36 states. An additional 396,261 people were deemed eligible for the government's Medicaid program or the Children's Health Insurance Program for the poor, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said.

The Obama administration had signaled enrollment would be very low in October because of technical failures that have hobbled the HealthCare.gov website used for signing people up in 36 states. But the reported figures show how far the White House has to go to build a new individual market of millions of consumers in 2014 to keep the healthcare program financially viable.

(Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Michele Gershberg and Grant McCool)