More than 850,000 people rushed to the federal health insurance portal on Monday, the last day to apply for health insurance coverage that begins within seven days, federal officials said.
“As of 2:00 p.m. today, we’ve seen approximately 850,000 visits toHealthCare.gov – approximately five times higher than the same amount by that time last Monday,” said Julie Bataille, a spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which runs the site.
“This is on top of the more than 1.2 million site visits this weekend,” the spokeswoman added.
Americans still have time to log in for the Obamacare programme. However, the president’s administration has sneaked in an extra 24-hour buffer, giving people one more possibility to register – until midnight Tuesday night.
“Anticipating high demand and the fact that consumers may be enrolling from multiple time zones, we have taken steps to make sure that those who select a plan through tomorrow will get coverage for Jan 1,” Bataille said.
“If you want insurance starting January 1 you should sign up today, but if you have trouble due to high demand, we will make sure we help you get signed up.”
As NBC News writes, this is something like lining up for election day when you are standing in line when the polls close, you get to come in and vote.
“Those who want 1/1 coverage should try to sign up today. With record demand, those who try for 1/1 will have a fail-safe to finish tmrrw,” the administration tweeted from the HealthCare.gov Twitter account.
It’s obvious that people will need the extra time to get enrolled. So far, Monday was a record day for signups, the administration said.
“Thousands visiting and enrolling now. Queuing deployed to help keep site smooth for users,” it said in a separate tweet.
The electronic queue sends people a message asking them to wait and offering to email them when it’s their turn.
“So far today, more than 60,000 consumers have provided an email address to get their invitation to return later,” Bataille said.
“Health plans will continue to do everything they can to help consumers through the enrollment process and mitigate potential confusion or disruption caused by all of these last-minute changes to the rules and deadlines,” Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for the trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans, said in a written statement.
Connecticut officials let people know citizens that the one-day cushion only applies to the federal website.
“Today, December 23rd, remains the enrollment deadline for Connecticut residents who wish to have health care coverage effective January 1, 2014,” the state’s exchange CEO, Kevin Counihan, said in a statement.
Barack Obama revealed to reporters last week that a million people had already applied viafor the health insurance the state and federal health insurance exchanges.
He went on, adding that more than 500,000 signed up on the federal website alone in the first three weeks of December.