Monday is the final day to enroll for the health insurance program known as Obamacare. But two separate major glitches have hobbled HealthCare.gov on the final day of enrollment, preventing many from enrolling. Procrastinators, are you thinking what I"m thinking? Another Obamacare deadline extension.
As of 2 p.m. EDT, both glitches were fixed and the site is up and running again as normal. But if the site has broken twice in the last 24 hours, how confident can we be that it won"t break down again?
One glitch occurred between 12 p.m.-1 p.m. EDT Monday. For a period of a little over 30 minutes, new enrollees" accounts were being rejected. Those who had already started their registration process were moving along just fine. (Remember, the process takes at least an hour, and you are allowed to save your work and resume at another time.) But if you began your registration Monday, there was a brief period when the system just would not take your application.
"There are a record number of people trying to access HealthCare.gov right now – more than 100,000 people concurrently in the system as of noon," Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in a statement to The Verge. "The tech team monitoring HealthCare.gov in real time has identified an issue with users creating new accounts. The application and enrollment tools are unavailable to new users at the moment. The tech team is working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible."
A separate glitch occurred earlier Monday morning when hardly anyone was awake.
So on the one hand, I"ve got to hand it to the HealthCare.gov people – they identified and fixed the glitches really quickly. On the other hand, I cannot imagine the terror that enrollees felt when the system was declining their application for health care on the deadline day for enrollment.
Of course, not everyone will be using the Affordable Care Act’s Healthcare.gov site. New York, California and 14 other states employ their own state-run exchanges, and those state exchanges are all working just fine. Personally, I"m in California and the Covered California site is working just fine – albeit slowly.
And if you already started your ACA online enrollment but did not complete your application, you"re in the clear. "Consumers who begin applying by 11:59 p.m. on March 31 will be able to complete their enrollment later in plans to take effect May 1," according to Reuters. "Additionally, those who attest online they had trouble signing up before the deadline can begin the enrollment process after March 31."