The deadline for individuals to sign up in the Affordable Health Care Marketplace is March 31, and new numbers have just been released for the state of Montana.

Spokeswoman for Office of State Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen, Jennifer McKee said on Tuesday, March 12, that over 22,000 individual Montanans had selected plans from the marketplace.

"22,542 is the number of Montanans who have selected a plan from the marketplace on the website Healthcare.gov," McKee said. "The actual number of people insured under those plans is actually higher that that, but we'll have to wait for all the dust to settle after the deadline has passed on March 31."

McKee provided a breakdown of age groups represented in that number of 22,542, since the Obama administration was counting on a large number of younger people to sign up in order to even out the risk pool, to help keep premium costs down.

"Six percent are under 18," McKee said. "Eight percent are between the ages of 18 and 25, 18 percent are between 26 and 34, 15 percent are between 35 and 44, 19 percent are between 45 and 54 and 34 percent are between 55 and 64."

McKee said government officials were expecting older people to sign up in greater numbers to begin with because they were the ones who were being shut out of the old insurance pools due to preexisting conditions, something the new Obamacare policies are not allowed to do.

"In the first three years of these insurance market reforms, there is money built into the system to help insurance companies get through this transition period," McKee said. "Because there are so many big social changes included in Obamacare, these numbers are not a surprise. We expect the younger people to come in later, and again, there is extra money built into the system to compensate for that."

Spokeswoman for Office of State Insurance Commissioner Monica Lindeen, Jennifer McKee