HealthCare.gov logged a record-breaking 850,000 site visits by 2 p.m. Monday, as Americans jammed the website hoping to beat the new extended deadline of Dec. 24 to enroll in health insurance that begins on January 1.
The site is handling the increased volume with few problems. With more than 60,000 simultaneous users just before 11 am., the tech support team deployed the queuing system, which directs users to leave the system and return when web traffic lightens.
"So far today, more than 60,000 consumers have provided an email address to get their invitation to return later," said a statement from Julie Bataille, communications director at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Despited the Christmas Eve deadline, Bataille said consumers should not wait until Wednesday, Dec. 24, to enroll in health insurance effective on January 1.
Bataille advises people to sign up today, if possible, and to check with their insurer directly to make sure their enrollment has been verified and processed. "All consumers will have until at least Dec. 31 to pay, or at the time their issuer sets, as many plans have extended the deadline to Jan. 10," Bataille said.