About 63,000 of the 140,000 Massachusetts residents eligible for a new, discounted health insurance program already have signed up for coverage, officials say.

The state created the subsidized Commonwealth Care program to implement one component of its “universal health care” program, which eventually will require many employers to offer health coverage and will strongly encourage many state residents to make sure they are insured.

The Commonwealth Care program provides free or subsidized coverage from 4 private insurers for state residents who earn up to 300% of the federal poverty level. For individuals, the current income limit is $30,630.

The program started in October 2006, and enrollment has grown faster than expected, according to officials at the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, the agency in charge of Commonwealth Care.

Commonwealth Care covers in-patient and out-patient services, prescription drugs, vision care, rehabilitation, mental health and substance abuse services.

For state residents earning less than $10,210 per year, the program also covers dental services, officials say.

Monthly premiums for program members who must pay for coverage range from $18 and $106, officials say.