By Justin Sink - 12/23/13 04:07 PM EST
President Obama was briefed over the weekend on efforts by the administration to keep the ObamaCare website functioning as consumers race to purchase insurance before Christmas.
According to a White House official, Obama received a "detailed update" about preparations.
"He was briefed on the efforts to ensure that the website could handle the large amount of traffic that was predicted and on efforts to ensure a smooth transition on Jan. 1," the official said.
On Monday, the administration announced consumers would have a one-day grace period on Christmas Eve to purchase insurance that would go into effect by Jan. 1. Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the delay was to help ensure all who wanted insurance could access it.
“Anticipating high demand and the fact that consumers may be enrolling from multiple time zones, we have taken steps to make sure that those who select a plan through tomorrow will get coverage for Jan 1," she said.
The administration reported record traffic on the ObamaCare website Monday, and throughout the day, the portal deployed its queuing system to organize the high volume.
The administration reported "thousands" of consumers shopping and enrolling on its official Twitter feed Monday morning. Over the weekend, HealthCare.gov saw more than 1 million visits, with an additional 200,000 individuals calling the government's toll-free hotline.
The White House said Monday that Obama, vacationing in Hawaii, would continue to "receive additional updates in the days ahead about the website's performance and other aspects of ACA [Affordable Care Act] implementation.”
Earlier Monday, the White House announced that Obama himself had enrolled in the healthcare exchange over the weekend.
According to a White House official, the president selected a bronze plan in a largely symbolic gesture designed to promote enrollment. The president and first family will continue to receive his healthcare through military physicians.
"But, he was pleased to participate in a plan as a show of support for these marketplaces, which are providing quality, affordable healthcare options to more than a million people," the official said.