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Health Insurance Totals Reflect Last Days’ Surge

After a two-week extension of the open-enrollment deadline, the White House announced Thursday that 8 million people have signed up through the health-care law’s insurance marketplaces since they opened in October. That means about 900,000 people picked a health plan in the two weeks since the end of the original March 31 enrollment deadline.

Numbers alone won’t necessarily say whether the Affordable Care Act will succeed.

Sign-ups surged in March, as expected, and the two bonus weeks of enrollment in April essentially matched sign-ups for the entire month of February.

If we learned one thing from this enrollment period, it’s this: Never underestimate the power of procrastination. California’s exchange on Thursday reported that April 15, its last day of enrollment, saw 50,000 people sign up — its best day ever.

In President Obama’s news conference Thursday, he said 35 percent of people who signed up for exchange plans were under 35. That’s true, but there’s a number that matters much more to the success of the new insurance markets: how many enrollees are between 18 and 34 years old. In the end, young adults accounted for 28 percent of sign-ups.

— Washington Post