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Trump administration extends ObamaCare enrollment deadline

Trump administration extends ObamaCare enrollment deadline
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The Trump administration is giving consumers more time to sign up for ObamaCare coverage after technical glitches plagued the healthcare.gov website in the final hours before the original deadline.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday announced it was extending the open enrollment deadline to Wednesday at 3 a.m. Eastern time. 

The extended sign-up period will begin at 3 p.m. Monday.

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Democrats and advocacy groups had been pushing for an extension, arguing that the glitches suffered on Sunday potentially prevented thousands of people from signing up for coverage.

CMS said over half a million people enrolled throughout the day on Sunday, but the agency was extending the deadline “in an abundance of caution” to accommodate consumers who attempted to enroll but may have experienced issues.

“This additional time will give consumers the opportunity to come back and complete their enrollment for January 1 coverage,” a CMS spokesperson said in a statement. 

On Sunday, the agency deployed a “waiting room” online and over the phone to help control the flow of traffic. Consumers who already left their contact information with the call center do not need to come back and apply, CMS said, because a call center representative will follow up with them later this week.

As of Dec. 7, more than 3.9 million people had signed up for plans, a 6 percent drop compared to a similar time period last year. 

But the last few days of open enrollment typically bring a surge of sign-ups, and advocates expressed concern that the website was not able to handle the traffic of tens of thousands of people attempting to enroll.