Arizonans flocked to buy health insurance in the final week of the individual enrollment period, with the number of people choosing plans or having their existing insurance automatically renewed nearly doubling the previous five weeks' totals.
The enrollment period that ended last Friday had seen tepid activity as of Dec. 9, with 90,000 people choosing new or renewal plans. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services figures released Thursday show a surge in the final week to nearly 167,000.
The numbers contain an unknown number of automatic renewals.
Open enrollment for Affordable Care Act individual policies was six weeks shorter this year and a drop was expected.
It can't be determined yet if that happened. Last year 193,000 people signed up, but only 143,000 were actually paying their premium by June.