Due to an anticipated large volume of last minute applicants, the HealthCare.gov website recorded over 1 million potential customers today prompting a one day extension of the Monday deadline. The new deadline will give those in queue on Monday a chance to complete their enrollment and still receive coverage starting Jan. 1, 2014. The extension is only given to those applicants using the federal exchange because each state which has an exchange have no requirement to change their deadline.
According to an early morning article published in USA Today, the move was in anticipation of heavy online traffic or other technical issues. HHS had already programmed its systems to support Jan. 1 coverage for those who attempt to complete their enrollment through Tuesday. The agency called it a concept similar to Election Day, when those in line when the polls close still get to vote.
“We have taken steps to make sure that those who tried to enroll today, but had delays due to high traffic, have a fail-safe,” said Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“People are having a really difficult time getting through,” David Oscar, an insurance broker in Fairfield, N.J., said Monday. He said frustrated clients were calling to say the website was sluggish. “My phone has been burning up. It’s the worst time of year to start this, and all these people who need coverage have so many other things that they’re doing.”
President Obama who is on a two week vacation in Hawaii and certainly doesn't need to enroll in the Affordable Care Act did so anyway. Through an aide, Obama selected a bronze package which if he actually needed it would cost him about $400 per month.