Obamacare Website Flaw Stops New Users From Starting Enrollment

Mar 31, 2014 1:41 pm ET

March 31 (Bloomberg) -- Healthcare.gov, the federal website for Obamacare, faltered for the second time today as a record number of people tried to buy health insurance on the last day of enrollment for 2014.

Starting about midday New York time, users weren’t able to create new applications because of the number of people trying to use the website. Visitors to the health insurance exchange are being directed to a queuing system that asks them to provide an e-mail address so they can be contacted when traffic slows.

“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,” Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in an e-mail. “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. Users already in system remain able to complete enrollment.”

The agency pulled the website out of service earlier today after a software bug was discovered during the 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. regularly scheduled maintenance of the site.

--With assistance from Alex Wayne in Washington.