BALTIMORE — Enrollment for private health insurance through Maryland’s health exchange dropped slightly for 2018.

The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange reported Thursday that nearly 154,000 Marylanders signed up for coverage in 2018 during the open enrollment period that closed last month.

That’s a 3 percent drop from the exchange enrollment a year ago.

Nevertheless, officials declared themselves thrilled by the figures. They said the 2018 figures came during a significantly reduced time-period for open enrollment.

Consumers had only a 52-day window to sign up for coverage in 2018, compared to 90 days a year ago.

The Trump administration reduced open enrollment periods for health exchanges, arguing that the change was needed to prevent people from waiting until they are sick to sign up for coverage.

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