Obamacare Website Goes Down for Maintenance on Last Day of Open Enrollment

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius speaks to the media Saturday as people (in the foreground) sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act at an event held in the Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Miami. (Photo: Joe Raedle, Getty Images)
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius speaks to the media Saturday as people (in the foreground) sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act at an event held in the Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Miami. (Photo: Joe Raedle, Getty Images)

The federal government’s healthcare enrollment website — HealthCAre.gov — went down for maintenance Monday on the last day of open enrollment for 2014.

“The system isn’t available at the moment,” read a message on the problem-plagued site early Monday. “We’re currently performing maintenance. Please try again later.”

It was not immediately clear how long the site would be down.

The site promised that when the site came back up it would send an “one-time email” to frustrated visitors “for you to return and complete your enrollment.”

The hiccup came as the Obama administration and its allies made a last-minute push to persuade Americans to enroll in health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Monday at midnight was the deadline for open enrollment and the last chance to avoid a penalty for not purchasing insurance in 2014, which people will pay with their federal-income taxes next year.

Administration officials said interest was surging as the deadline neared. Sunday evening, Health and Human Services announced 2 million visits over the weekend to HealthCare.gov, the federal government’s enrollment site.

In the last week alone, the call center handled a record 2.5 million calls, surpassing the 2.4 million it received during the entire month of February.

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SOURCE: Fredreka Schouten and Kelly Kennedy
USA TODAY

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