LOS ANGELES - The lines were long at last-minute enrollment events for California's health-care exchange. The Covered California website could not keep up and logged people out as they tried to sign up.
California has now enrolled more than 1.2 million people, nearly 156,000 in just the past week.
Ardy Carlson dropped his insurance five months ago because it was costing him more than $400 per month. He said he felt like a ticking time bomb.
"You never know when something's going to happen to you," he said. "And I feel like I'm young enough that I don't have any problems now, but you never know if something, some accident is going to happen."
Carlson is 33, a so-called "young invincible." These 18-to-34-year-olds who are generally healthy are needed to help offset the costs of the older and sicker people in the new health-care system. As of March 1, younger people accounted for 25 percent of all enrollees but health-care studies initially said the number should be 40 percent.
Carlson did sign up just before the deadline. His new plan will save him more than $150 per month.
Why did he wait until the last minute to sign up?
"I think I didn't see it as super necessary at that time," he said. "But then as I started to think about it, I was like I need to do this, so now I have it. So it's sort of a peace of mind thing for me," he said.
He's no longer a ticking time bomb?
"Exactly," he said. "Yeah. It's nice."
Covered California says nearly 400,000 people have started enrolling for a new health-care plan but not yet finished the process. They will have until April 15 to complete it.