Affordable Care Act enrollees increase

Federal health officials said Friday that 8.8 million Americans had health coverage through the Affordable Care Act as of the end of last year, up from 6.3 million people a year earlier but below projections.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell had predicted that 2015 would close with 9.1 million people insured through plans purchased from the federal and state marketplaces created under the 2010 health-care law.

The final numbers, reflecting people who had paid their premiums and had policies in effect, were released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at the same time that officials issued a final report on the law’s third sign-up season, which ended in January. The bottom-line number of 12.7 million people enrolled as of Feb. 1 did not change from an announcement last month

Susan Levine

Man pleads guilty to terrorism charge

A young Mississippi man pleaded guilty Friday to a terrorism-related charge, months after authorities said he and his fiancée had thought about using their honeymoon as ruse to go to Syria to join the Islamic State.

Muhammad Dakhlalla, 23, pleaded guilty to providing material support to terrorism and faces up to 20 years in prison, $250,000 fines and lifetime probation. His sentencing date hasn’t been set.

His fiancée, Jaelyn Delshaun Young, is accused in new court documents of being the mastermind of the plan to join the Islamic State. Her trial is set for June 6. Both remain jailed without bail in Oxford.

The couple was arrested Aug. 8 before boarding a flight from Columbus, Miss., with tickets for Istanbul.

The couple’s arrest stunned their families. Dakhlalla is a 2011 psychology graduate of Mississippi State University who grew up in Starkville, a son of a prominent figure in the college town’s Muslim community. He is the youngest of three sons and was preparing to start graduate school at Mississippi State.

Young, a sophomore chemistry major from Vicksburg, was the daughter of a school administrator and a police officer who served in the Navy reserve. She was a former honor student, cheerleader and homecoming maid at Warren Central High School.

— Associated Press