CHICAGO (AP) — New federal data show that Illinois consumers are purchasing health insurance plans from the public Affordable Care Act exchange faster this year than they did last year.

The Chicago Tribune reports that numbers from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released Wednesday found that more than 95,000 Illinois residents selected plans during the first four weeks of open enrollment this year. That's compared with about 68,000 at about the same time last year.

The open enrollment period this year is half as long as last year's time frame. Consumers have until Dec. 15 to sign up for coverage this year.

The Illinois Department of Insurance added more information to its state health insurance marketplace website this year. Consumers can purchase plans on the website and speak with licensed brokers.

___

Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com