More than 7 million people have signed up for health insurance using the new online exchanges, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday, fueled by a last-minute deluge of enrollees that climaxed with 4.8 million visits on Monday alone.
It’s a number that exceeded all hopes after a glitchy rollout last October and it’s likely to grow as people who got in line but didn’t finish the process complete their applications over the coming weeks.
Rich Pedroncelli / AP
Keith Saunders, left, a certified Cover California insurance agent, explains a health insurance plan to Mark Tammes at a registration site hosted by Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers, Monday, March 31, in Sacramento, Calif.
“With the remarkable surge in enrollment, 7,041,000 signed up for health insurance before the midnight deadline yesterday. And that doesn't count the last day's surge of signups in more than a dozen states that run their own marketplaces,” Carney told a news briefing Tuesday.
“We surpassed the 7 milllion mark with the over 200,000 people who enrolled yesterday in states run by the federal government alone.”
Healthcare.Gov, the portal for people signing up for insurance on the exchanges, closed down overnight and now is closed to people trying to set up new accounts. They will have to wait until open enrollment starts for 2015 in November.
The Obama administration had predicted a final rush to sign up from the beginning, but officials made clear they felt vindicated after months of political attacks from Republicans predicting that Americans would reject the exchanges.
First published April 1 2014, 11:12 AM
Maggie Fox is senior health writer for NBCNews.com and TODAY.com, writing top news on health policy, medical treatments and disease.
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She's a former managing editor for healthcare and technology at National Journal and global health and science editor for Reuters based in Washington, D.C. and London.
She's reported for news agencies, radio, newspapers, magazines and television from across Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe covering news ranging from war to politics and, of course, health and science. Her reporting has taken Maggie to Lebanon, Syria and Libya; to China, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Pakistan; to Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia and to Ireland and Northern Ireland and across the rest of Europe.
Maggie has won awards from the Society of Business Editors and Writers, the National Immunization Program, the Overseas Press Club and other organizations. She's done fellowships at Harvard Medical School, the National Institutes of Health and the University of Maryland.