The White House may have delayed its deadline for enrollment in Obamacare, but Connecticut’s exchange did not. That means Connecticut residents had until midnight on Dec. 23 to enroll.

As a state-based exchange, Connecticut’s Access Health CT established its own deadline, which meant that if residents wanted to have health coverage on Jan. 1, 2014, they would have needed to have signed up by midnight on Monday, Dec. 23.

Activity on the website and at the call center increased as the deadline approached. Access Health CT CEO Kevin Counihan said that as of 5 p.m. Monday, the exchange had enrolled 59,000 people in one of the three private health plans or Medicaid. By the end of the day he expected nearly 60,000 residents to have gotten coverage before the clock struck midnight.

Counihan said that if someone signs up at 12:01 a.m. they will not be covered by the plan they chose until Feb. 1. He warned people to get their applications in as early as possible to avoid any last-minute problems.

Last week, letters and phone calls went out to the 25,993 residents who created accounts on the website, but had not yet signed up for a plan.

Counihan said he wanted to make sure that people didn’t show up in the emergency room on Jan. 1 believing they had signed up for a plan when they failed to complete the process.

Once enrolled, residents will have until Jan. 10, 2014 to make their first premium payment. However, Counihan stressed that the payment needed to be received by the carriers before that date and not postmarked with that date.