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As government officials on Tuesday touted the enrollment of 11.7 million Americans in state and federal health insurance exchanges, the clear subtext of their announcement was the essential role that price subsidies played in the signups.

The subsidies — which lowered the average monthly price of health insurance to $101 on the federally run exchanges — are at risk of vanishing depending on the upcoming decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Locally, more than 160,000 people have bought insurance through the state-run exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder. About 79 percent of customers buying insurance through the local marketplace received a federal tax subsidy, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“In Washington 126,657 marketplace consumers qualified for tax credits to make their coverage affordable and accessible,”  Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a prepared statement. “People who come to the marketplace for coverage are actively engaged and shopping for the product that’s best for them and their families.”

Washington is one of 13 states running its own exchange, while 37 states are using the federal exchange. In a case heard this month before the Supreme Court, plaintiffs argued that the law only allows for subsidies that lower the price of monthly premiums in states with their own marketplaces.

Federal health officials Tuesday didn’t speak directly to the case, but it must have been on their minds as they promoted the affordability of exchange health insurance and suggested the Affordable Care Act benefits already are entrenched.

“The ACA is now an important part of the everyday lives of millions of Americans,” Dr. Meena Seshamani, director of the HHS Office of Health Reform, said at a press event.

Because Washington has its own exchange, state residents should continue getting subsidies regardless of the Supreme Court decision, which is expected in June. However, the loss of subsidies for 7.7 million people currently receiving them through the federal exchange could cause an upheaval in the insurance market nationwide.

Despite the looming potential disruption, officials with the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which runs the state’s marketplace, remain focused on improving operations and fixing problems with Healthplanfinder.

While insurance enrollments nationwide surpassed the 9.1 million target set by the Obama administration, Healthplanfinder missed its goal of signing up 213,000 customers. However, the numbers from the federally run marketplaces could slide because they include people who were automatically re-enrolled and have not paid for coverage; Washington numbers include only paying customers.

Washington enrollments were lower than expected in part because more people than expected were able to clear the new, lower bar for Medicaid qualification. The high cost of insurance for many people, technical problems with the exchange, and more people finding jobs with benefits are additional reasons Washington fell short.

Local officials have been trying to shift the focus from the sale of insurance through the exchange to the state’s overall reduction in the number of uninsured residents. Thanks in large part to the Medicaid expansion, the rate of people uninsured in Washington dropped to 8.6 percent by last summer, down from 14.5 percent pre-ACA, according to state data.

“The ACA is working in our state for the purpose of getting more people health coverage,” said Michael Marchand, spokesman for the exchange.

The second round of open enrollment under the ACA began Nov. 15 and ended Feb. 15, which means people cannot buy individual insurance until the next enrollment period begins in the fall, or unless they have a life-changing event such as getting married, divorced, losing a job with coverage or moving.

However, Washington opened a special enrollment period from Feb. 17 to April 17 for people who didn’t realize they would be required to pay a penalty for being uninsured on their federal tax return. The federal exchanges announced a similar enrollment opportunity from March 15 to April 30.

So far, a couple thousand people have enrolled in Washington during the extension, said Marchand. “We’re expecting more people will wait until the last minute.”