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Obama signed up for health insurance in DC

President Barack Obama was signed up for largely symbolic health insurance coverage over the weekend, the White House said Monday. He chose one of the cheapest plans “as a show of support” for the millions of Americans his administration is trying to steer towards the new online exchanges.

All presidents and their immediate families get coverage through the military. As Commander-in-Chief, any president has a personal physician and he and his family get full care at the White House Medical Unit and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Obama didn’t wait until the last possible minute, a White House official says. Monday’s the last day to enroll on the federal exchange and on most of the state exchanges as well as Washington, D.C.’s, exchange.

“Over the weekend and in advance of today's deadline, the president enrolled in a health care plan made available by the Affordable Care Act on the D.C. marketplace,” the official said.

Obama, who is on vacation in Hawaii, had a staffer do the heavy lifting for him, a White House official says. He had to be enrolled in person, in no small part because his personal information is not readily available in the variety of government databases uses to verify identities.

“The act of the president signing up for insurance coverage through the DC exchange is symbolic since the president's health care will continue to be provided by the military,” the official added.

“But he was pleased to participate in a plan as a show of support for these marketplaces which are providing quality, affordable health care options to more than a million people. The president selected a bronze plan.” Bronze plans have the lowest premiums and tend to have higher deductlbles.

Obama doesn’t qualify for a federal subsidy to help pay premiums, both because of his income and because he is already covered.