ConnectiCare continues to lead the market among customers of Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, with 52 percent of the nearly 109,000 people signed up so far for 2016 coverage.

As of Wednesday, 108,830 people signed up for private insurance through the exchange, Access Health CT, including 15,214 new customers, officials said Thursday. The open enrollment period for private insurance runs through Jan. 31.

During last year’s open-enrollment period, 110,095 people signed up for coverage through the exchange.

Other data released Thursday show that returning customers largely stuck with their 2015 plans and just over half of customers – 55,349 – have incomes low enough to qualify for both discounted premiums and reduced out-of-pocket costs for care. That assistance is available to people up to 250 percent of the poverty level – for individuals, below $29,425 per year, or $60,625 for a family of four.

Another 27 percent of customers – 29,290 – qualify for financial assistance to discount their premiums, which is available to people earning below 400 percent of the poverty level. That equates to $47,080 for individuals and $97,000 for a family of four.

And 24,191 people, or 22 percent of those who signed up, are not slated to receive financial assistance for their coverage costs.

While 52 percent of customers picked ConnectiCare plans, 34 percent signed up for plans sold by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Another 12 percent selected HealthyCT, while 2 percent picked UnitedHealthcare.

Just over 30 percent of those who signed up must verify certain information to remain eligible for their coverage or financial assistance; in the vast majority of those cases, customers must reconcile discrepancies between the income they reported when signing up and data the exchange gathered from federal sources. Customers generally have 90 days to verify information if there are questions. Once that process is complete, the number of customers who qualify for financial assistance could drop.

Arielle Levin Becker covered health care for The Connecticut Mirror. She previously worked for The Hartford Courant, most recently as its health reporter, and has also covered small towns, courts and education in Connecticut and New Jersey. She was a finalist in 2009 for the prestigious Livingston Award for Young Journalists, a recipient of a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship and the third-place winner in 2013 for an in-depth piece on caregivers from the National Association of Health Journalists. She is a 2004 graduate of Yale University.

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