Millions visit HealthCare.gov before enrollment deadline

HealthCare.gov managed heavy traffic Tuesday as Americans in 36 states rushed to meet the new enrollment deadline for health plans effective Jan.1: there were 2 million website visits, the call center fielded more than 250,000 inquiries and the queuing system handled approximately 129,000 emails, government spokeswoman Julie Bataille told Forbes.

But while extending the sign-up deadline another day helped consumers, the extension caused reform-related headaches for payers. "Insurers would like to have two to three weeks to process applications," consultant Robert Laszewski told the Associated Press. "Now they're going to have a week, less one more day."  

Open enrollment ends in March for coverage effective after February. By then, the Obama Administration expects to see 7 million newly-insured customers, Forbes noted. Among them is the president himself: though he doesn't need it and won't use it. President Barack Obama last weekend joined with other Americans who purchased a bronze-level plan through the D.C. exchange, The Washington Post reported. The White House called this a "symbolic" gesture of solidarity with insurance buyers and a show of support for the marketplaces, the Post noted.

>> Read the full report at FierceHealthPayer.

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