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California Gives Further Reprieve for Obamacare Sign-Ups

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Overrun by last-minute demand for Obamacare coverage, California gave many consumers until April 15 to enroll as thousands of people across the nation endured long lines and website troubles.


Rebeka Palomino with her son, Karlo Ishibashi, finish paperwork with enrollment counselor Maria Garcia, left, at an Obamacare sign-up event Monday in Commerce. (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times / March 31, 2014)

Despite the problems, the late surge in sign-ups was a substantial boost to President Obama’s signature law, particularly after such a disastrous launch in October.

The final tally from the first year of the law’s insurance expansion won’t be known until later this spring. But as the Affordable Care Act’s inaugural open-enrollment period wound down, an outpouring of interest pushed sign-ups on the new online marketplaces close to the Obama administration’s goal of 7 million.

Monday had been the deadline to start signing up for coverage in California. But by Monday afternoon, state officials conceded they couldn’t handle the crowds and offered an opportunity to get coverage over the next two weeks. The state’s website went down periodically during the day while lines at enrollment events swelled into the hundreds.

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