The Trump administration said Monday it will give Obamacare customers until midweek to sign up for 2020 health coverage after a series of weekend computer glitches made it hard for shoppers to beat the deadline.
Customers will be able to use HealthCare.gov from 3 p.m. Monday to 3 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
“This additional time will give consumers the opportunity to come back and complete their enrollment for Jan. 1 coverage,” the agency said.
Democratic lawmakers such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 presidential candidate, clamored for an extension beyond the Dec. 15 deadline after reports that customers were unable to log in for long stretches.
HealthCare.gov was established by the 2010 health care law to give people without insurance from a job or government program the chance to compare health plans and qualify for income-based subsidies that defray the cost of premiums.
Roughly 3.8 million customers had signed up for 2020 coverage on HealthCare.gov heading into the final week of enrollment, meaning signups were lagging behind last year’s pace by about 250,000 customers. The last days of Obamacare enrollment are often busy and unpredictable, however.
In its statement, CMS said half a million customers did manage to enroll on Sunday but that some were asked to leave their names with representatives at the call center. Those customers don’t have to avail themselves of the website extension because a representative will contact them directly this week, the agency said.
The Affordable Care Act’s federal website serves dozens of states that decided not to set up their own insurance portal.
It is no stranger to technical difficulties. The website crashed upon its inaugural launch in the fall of 2013, causing a frantic rescue mission by the Obama administration.
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