President Obama said that more than seven million people have signed up for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Connecticut saw a huge surge in enrollments as Monday's deadline passed.
Kevin Counihan, CEO of Access Health CT, the state's health insurance marketplace for Obamacare, said that overall, nearly 198,000 people signed up for insurance in Connecticut, and 6,000 enrolled on Monday alone.
"The interesting thing," Counihan said, "is that over 5,300 people left their names and contact information to enroll in insurance." That's because heavy traffic and disruptions with federal computer systems made it hard for a lot of people to enroll.
After consulting insurers, Counihan and his staff decided to let people who left their contact information with the state enroll after the deadline passed. Add those to other folks still in the process, and there's about 6,000 people who may still sign up.
Counihan said he's relieved. "[I'm] very glad it's over," he said. "As I said, we have a lot of clean up to do because we've got almost 6,000 people to contact and get them enrolled."
Now that the deadline has passed, one question is how best to gauge the program's success. Counihan said he will look at things like whether Obamacare actually reduced the number of the state's uninsured. He also wants to know whether it will affect disparities in insurance coverage for different racial and ethnic groups. Counihan's organization plans a research study this Spring to answer those questions.
Now, all eyes are on the next open enrollment period -- which is just a few months away.