SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — A late surge of sign-ups pushed California’s health insurance exchange nearly 100,000 enrollees beyond the original projections of the Obama administration.

The agency that runs the marketplace said Thursday that nearly 1.4 million Californians selected a policy through the exchange by Tuesday’s end of open enrollment. Last fall, the Obama administration had anticipated that 1.3 million Californians would sign up.

“In the last two weeks, we’ve had across this state, people going to insurance agents, to our county partners, certified enrollment counselors, to get that help to get across the finish line,” said Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee.

Among the questions going forward are whether the newly purchased insurance policies will meet consumers’ expectations and whether the mix of enrollees will be sufficient to satisfy insurance companies that are participating in the exchange.

An additional 1.9 million people gained coverage through Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid. “While this marks the official end of the open enrollment period, it really is the beginning of a new and improved health care environment for all of California,” said Toby Douglas, Director of the California Department of Health Care Services.

The state opted to accept the expansion of the low-income health insurance program that was offered under the federal health reform law.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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