Talk about bad timing. The problem-plagued Obamacare insurance signup website Healthcare.gov was down for several hours earlier today, March 31st, due to a software bug and/or unusually heavy traffic. Today at midnight is the official deadline to sign up for health insurance, although the penalties for not maintaining health insurance will not actually come into effect until 2015.
After coming back online, the website automatically put customers who had been interrupted in a queue, and then sent those customers an email when the system was ready for them to move ahead with their enrollment.
The Obamacare website has been extremely busy over the last few days, and the White House announced that more than 6 million people had applied for insurance as of last week.
Healthcare.gov: Problems due to a technical glitch
Aaron Albright, a spokesperson for the Obama administration, said the Healthcare.gov website is normally offline for maintenance overnight, but was offline this morning for four extra hours due to a technical glitch.
Statement from HHS
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a statement regarding the website outage and blamed the problems on a “software bug” that was not related to the heavy traffic to the website.
The statement continued to say, “Consumers may also complete their application by calling the call center at 1-800-318-2596. The federal data services hub is working normally.”
Extension to be offered for glitches
The White House also announced there would be an extension for customers who had begun an insurance application by Monday, but didn’t finish it for whatever reason, including website glitches. As long as customers have begun the application process by Monday, they will be allowed to take as long as required to finish their applications.
HHS has also said it will continue to accept paper applications through April 7.