Thousands of visitors had already been put into virtual waiting rooms early today, to ease the crush of visitors to HealthCare.gov on this, the final day of open enrollment to secure health insurance via the online Obamacare exchange. But facilitators are doing everything they can to turn those "visitors" into "enrolees."
But the website is finishing its first open enrollment period much like it began last fall—with technical problems. At one point, early today, visitors to HealthCare.gov were told that the system "was down for maintenance" and to "please try again later." Officials pushed back, saying the website was typically down for maintenance during the early morning hours, but because of some technical problems, that down-time was extended an additional three hours.
Meanwhile, the White House says interest was "surging" as the deadline neared, with nearly 2 million visitors this past weekend.
And for those who have begun, but not completed, the process of enrollment, there's good news. HealthCare.gov or a call center representative will be able to continue the process after tonight's deadline passes.
President Barack Obama said March 27 that more than 6 million people had enrolled through federal or state health exchanges, a goal projected by the Congressional Budget Office to ensure the system is sustainable.