WASHINGTON, March 31 The website for people to
enroll in U.s. private health insurance was unavailable early
Monday morning, just hours before the deadline for the first
wave of enrollment under the healthcare law.
Representatives for the Department of Health and Human
Services, in a statement, confirmed the access problems to
www.HealthCare.gov and said the website's usual maintenance time
had been extended, but that the site was "coming back up."
People have until midnight on Monday to obtain health
insurance under President Barack Obama's healthcare law known as
Obamacare or else face fines. But the administration has
softened the deadline to accommodate those who attempt to apply
for coverage by Monday night.
In the statement, representatives for the department said
people who visit the insurance exchange website can leave their
contact information and enroll online later, or call a hotline
to complete their applications.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott and Chizu