California's state health insurance exchange announced Thursday a huge surge in enrollment over the past three days, as more than 50,000 people signed up for private insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Covered California, the state's official online marketplace, said in a press release that 53,510 people had selected an insurance plan from Monday through Wednesday. That's 60% more than the number of people who signed up in the entire month of October (30,830).
Here's a look at enrollments over the past three days:
- Monday: 13,653
- Tuesday: 19,351
- Wednesday: 20,506
“We’re pleased with the consumer response to getting affordable health insurance coverage, and our staff is working at top speed to answer questions and process all the applications, so Californians can enjoy benefits beginning Jan. 1, 2014,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said in a statement.
The surge in enrollments comes days before a Dec. 23 deadline for customers to sign up for insurance coverage that would begin on Jan. 1. It also reflects a steady increase nationwide in both interest and enrollments.
Overall in November, nearly 260,000 people selected insurance plans through both federal and state exchanges. That was a significant bump from the 106,185 that enrolled in October, but still far off the pace of the Obama administration's goal of 7 million sign-ups by March 31.
Because of its large population and relatively well-functioning exchange website, California provides a key test case overall for the Affordable Care Act. As of Nov. 30, California had the country's fourth-highest rate of enrollment in exchange insurance after Vermont, Connecticut and Kentucky, accounting for about 30% of Obamacare's nationwide exchange enrollments .
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