With the final deadline still a month away, nearly 60,000 Mainers have signed up for health insurance coverage in 2015 through the federal marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act – a 34 percent increase over the 44,258 who enrolled in 2014.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday that 59,126 Maine residents were covered under the health care act as of Jan. 9, and the number is expected to increase by the time the second open enrollment period ends on Feb. 15. Those covered under the act must re-enroll every year.

Nationwide, 6.8 million customers have selected an insurance plan for 2015 under the health care act since enrollment began on Nov. 15. About 8 million enrolled nationally for the 2014 year.

Of those signing up in the first month of enrollment in Maine, nearly 90 percent qualified for some level of financial assistance to lower their monthly premiums, according to DHHS.

That matches the 2014 numbers, when 89 percent of Mainers received subsidies. The average monthly premium in 2014 was $443, but subsidies reduced it to $99.

A major component of the Affordable Care Act, adopted in 2010, was the creation of online health insurance marketplaces to give individuals and families who are uninsured, self-employed or paying a lot for minimal coverage a place to shop for more affordable plans.

About half the states, including Maine, decided not to establish their own marketplaces, but residents can purchase coverage through the federal exchange, accessible online at healthcare.gov.

The Affordable Care Act offers credits or subsidies on a sliding scale, based on income, for people who earn as much as 400 percent of the federal poverty level – about $79,000 a year for a family of three.

There are several tiers of coverage, including more expensive plans for more comprehensive coverage. There also is wide variation from state to state.