Of the 4.7 million persons who obtained insurance coverage from HealthCare.gov in 2014, about 1.2 million of them shopped around and switched plans for 2015. Another 1 million did comparison shopping but stuck with their 2014 plans.

The unexpected shopping spree was attributed in large part to premium variations. The most successful insurance companies from 2014, sign-up-wise, raised their premiums an average of 10 percent for 2015, while the less successful insurers from last year tended to price their plans lower to attract new enrollees.

In total, according to figures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), 8.8 million persons obtained insurance for 2015 from HealthCare.gov, while another 2 million-plus signed up on the 13 state exchanges for a total of 11.4 million.

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