Website issues emerge on Obamacare enrollment deadline day
WASHINGTON, D.C. — It was a brief but fleeting reminder of the messy roll-out of the Obamacare website.
In the early morning hours of the final day of open enrollment, the government’s health care website experienced technical problems as troubleshooters worked on a “software bug,” a senior administration official said.
“System isn’t available at the moment. We’re currently performing maintenance,” the message on healthcare.gov said.
A senior administration official said the issue was unrelated to the high demand the White House expected on this deadline day.
Healthcare.gov “continues to handle unprecedented consumer demand well. Tech team is fixing a software bug as part of the regular nightly maintenance window that takes place on the site during off peak hours,” a senior administration official said.
By 8 a.m. in Washington, the site appeared to be back up and running but experiencing delays due to the expected crush of last minute health care consumers.
“We need you to wait here, so we can make sure there’s room for you to have a good experience on our site,” the website said.
“They bring the site back up gradually so some people get through at first and some people do not. We are in the process now of gradually bringing the site back up,” a senior administration official said Monday morning.
Minutes later, the site assisting enrollment on the federal exchange appeared to be functioning properly.
Over at the White House website, it was another story. The open enrollment countdown clock on the White House site mistakenly said consumers had “16 days, 29 hours” to sign up. That glitch appeared to be an inadvertent shifting of the hours and minutes into the wrong columns.
Despite the early deadline day hiccups, White House officials are pleased with the latest enrollment numbers. More than 6 million people have signed up for private insurance coverage as of late last week and healthcare.gov received more than two million visitors over the weekend, according to the White House.
Consumers who attempt to sign up on the final day of enrollment but experience technical problems will be given a few additional days to complete the process, administration official said.