(Bloomberg) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says consumers are swamping its call centers and HealthCare.gov enrollment website with efforts to apply for coverage.
HealthCare.gov attracted about 1.1 million visitors Monday, the second most ever. The visitor count climbed to 1.2 million Tuesday.
The number of telephone calls jumped to 390,000 — or one call for every 800 U.S. residents — from 350,000 the day before.
“We are thrilled to see a surge of activity, with near-record levels of traffic on HealthCare.gov in recent days,” Joanne Peters, an HHS spokeswoman, said in a statement. “Our systems are ready to handle these high volumes in the remaining six days before the deadline.”
State exchanges also were busy.
Washington state enrolled 12,000 people last week, and Connecticut enrolled 1,200 people Monday.
“The expected surge in last-minute enrollments has begun,” said Richard Onizuka, the chief executive officer for the Olympia-based Washington Health Benefit Exchange, in a statement.
About 5 million people had selected individual “qualified health plan” (QHP) coverage through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) public exchange system as of March 17, according to HHS figures.
The public exchange open enrollment period for individual QHP coverage began Oct. 1 and is supposed to end Monday.