On the final day of Obamacare’s open enrollment period, the HealthCare.gov site has been plagued with technological issues that have made it difficult for some people to sign up for coverage in the hours before the midnight deadline. The glitches are reminiscent of the website problems that plagued the site during the first month of enrollment this past fall.
Politico reports that HealthCare.gov was down for six hours on Monday morning. The people attempting to enroll during that time were put into a “queue,” and notified via email when they could complete their enrollment process.
The site has been receiving record volumes of traffic in advance of the deadline, and was flooded with about four million visitors over the weekend. But administration officials said Monday morning’s problem was caused by a “software bug,” not by heavy traffic.
The site was back online by about 9 am on Monday. Around noon, another website issue emerged, and the site stopped accepting new applications for enrollment.
Health and Human Services officials told ThinkProgress that the multiple website issues have now been resolved. “There are a record number of people on HealthCare.gov right now — more than 100,000 people concurrently in the system as of noon,” a spokesperson said. “The tech team monitoring HealthCare.gov in real time identified an issue with users creating new accounts — the issue has now been fixed. Users who were already in system were able to complete enrollment and were unaffected.”
Americans who are currently having troubling getting on HealthCare.gov won’t run out of time. Last week, the Obama administration announced that Monday’s midnight deadline will be extended for the Americans who have struggled to sign up because of the ongoing website issues. The people who are in the process of enrolling will be able to complete their applications in April, either online or over the phone. The administration is accepting paper applications until April 7.
More than six million people have enrolled in plans on Obamacare’s exchanges so far, meeting the projection set by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office despite the sluggish enrollment during the first month of website glitches. Although final enrollment data is not yet available, outside estimates suggest that at least 9.5 million previously uninsured Americans are newly covered under Obamacare.
Despite the glitches, HHS reported “record volume” on HealthCare.gov on Monday, tweeting that 1.2 million visitors had logged onto the site before noon.