HealthCare.gov Traffic Surges In Days Before Obamacare Enrollment Deadline

Tuesday night was the deadline to sign up for Obamacare and be covered by January 1, and wouldn’t you know it: Americans love to procrastinate. Over 2 million people visited HealthCare.gov the day before the deadline, and the call center received more than 250,000 calls on Monday alone. Enrollment in new plans surged in several states over the last couple of days, and the number of people who signed up in December was almost triple that of October and November combined.

Prior to December 1st, only 365,000 people had signed up for health insurance via HealthCare.gov; by Christmas, over 1 million people had done so. In California, 77,000 Californians chose private plans in the days before the deadline, with 27,000 people enrolling on Monday alone. In New York, almost 20,000 people signed up Monday, as did 5,100 people in Kentucky. And none of this includes any of the 800,000 people who, thanks to Obamacare, are now eligible for Medicaid.

While the administration has already extended the deadline to sign up for new policies by one day, an administration spokesperson said that people who had technical difficulties signing up for plans by Tuesday night can still get covered by January 1st if they get in touch with the call center and explain what happened.

One of the biggest concerns for proponents of the law is lack of enrollment. If not enough people sign up for plans — particularly young people — premiums could skyrocket, which would be both a policy (and a political) disaster. While it’ll be some time until final enrollment numbers come in, the spike in interest during the last couple of days is an encouraging sign for both Obamacare proponents and seekers of cheap health care in general.