Policy: Technology

Obamacare website functioning after morning outage

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Politics,White House,Brian Hughes,Barack Obama,Obamacare,Health Care,PennAve,Healthcare.gov,Technology

Healthcare.gov was restored Monday after being down for maintenance for hours on the final day of open enrollment in Obamacare.

The Obamacare website was brought back to full service around 8 a.m., an administration official said. Healthcare.gov had been unable to handle enrollment requests since 3 a.m.

However, the administration already announced that it would essentially extend the deadline for people who claimed they had technical difficulties enrolling in an Obamacare plan. Users just have to check a blue box on healthcare.gov that says they had difficulty enrolling — the administration conceded they will use an honor system and that there is no actual way to verify such a claim.

Users rushing to beat the March 31 deadline to obtain health insurance or pay a fine were greeted with a familiar error message Monday morning. The outage harkened back to recent months, when similar technical glitches sunk the rollout of President Obama's signature domestic achievement.

In recent days, the administration said the website was fully prepared to handle the surge in traffic ahead of the March 31 deadline. Officials also trumpeted the more than 2 million visits to the website over the weekend.

The administration announced in recent days that more than 6 million people had signed up for health plans through federal and state exchanges. Though a surge in sign-ups, the White House still can't say how many people have paid their first month's premium or whether they were previously uninsured.

The administration originally set a goal of 7 million sign-ups by the end of March, and in the final hours of open enrollment, it’s still unclear whether they will hit that mark.

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