On the day before the deadline for Obamacare’s second open enrollment period, some customers looking for health coverage were unable to submit applications on the federal website due to more tech glitches, the Obama administration said Saturday.
HealthCare.gov, which is serving 37 states this enrollment period, is facing “intermittent issues” in verifying customer’s income, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. That’s preventing an unknown number of customers from submitting applications and seeking premium subsidies for health insurance.
HHS said in a statement Saturday evening that officials are trying to fix the problem with “external verification sources” before the deadline to sign up for coverage hits at 2:59 a.m. ET on Monday morning.
Customers who already submitted their income information are able to select plans and enroll, but those who have yet to estimate their income on HealthCare.gov are out of luck. They’re able to make an account and shop for plans, but without income information, customers can’t see the amount of federal premium subsidies available. So far, close to 8 in 10 HealthCare.gov enrollees receive subsidies.
HealthCare.gov also faced tech issues just before last year’s open enrollment deadline. The website was down entirely for five hours the morning before the enrollment deadline and customers attempting to create new accounts on the final day were often unable to do so. In response to the problems, the administration continued accepting applications from those who were “in line” on the website for another two weeks.
Despite Saturday’s last-minute blip, the website has improved drastically since its infamous tech problems during the first open enrollment period.
Through Feb. 6, 7.75 million people have signed up for health insurance on the federal website alone. The administration lowered its enrollment goal this year to between 9.1 and 9.9 million customers nationwide, including state-run exchanges; the Congressional Budget Office had previously estimated 13 million customers after this enrollment period.