Obamacare’s marketplaces are overwhelmed with traffic

October 1, 2013

Last week, exchange directors were joking about what low volume they would see for enrollment Oct. 1; California's Obamacare head estimated two people would sign up on day one.

Maybe not: At least a few states right now are reporting pretty high traffic in their first few hours of business. New York has had more than 2 million visitors this morning, which is causing some trouble for people trying to sign up. To put that in perspective, New York has 2.5 million uninsured residents.

 Kentucky's new marketplace, the Kynect, had processed over 1,000 applications for insurance by 9:30 a.m. this morning. The Web site has had more than  24,000 visits from people browsing the insurance rates.

"It is a higher volume than we expected and it has caused a few technical issues," says Jill Midkiff, a spokeswoman in Kentucky's Cabinet for Health and Family Services. "We've got our IT people in our command center trying to iron out those issues. We believe that this surge of applications definitely demonstrates the pent up demand, who will now be able to have coverage on January 1."

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Ezra Klein | October 1, 2013