(CNN, March 31, 2014) — Obamacare open enrollment is drawing to a close, though that doesn’t mean the fervor over health care reform will subside anytime soon.
Americans have until the end of Monday to sign up for health insurance on the Obamacare exchanges for 2014. However, those that start their applications but run into technical trouble that prevents them from picking a plan Monday will have a grace period to complete the process. Their coverage will begin May 1.
Applicants ran into problems midday Monday when a technical issue temporarily blocked new users from creating accounts and picking plans. More than 100,000 people were using healthcare.gov at the same time, said a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services.
Those visiting the site were told to wait to apply for coverage. They were also given the option to receive an email telling them when they could return to the site.
Two million people visited the federal exchange site, healthcare.gov, over the weekend, while the call center received 2.5 million queries in the past week. States running their own exchanges are also reporting a surge of interest.
More than 6 million people have signed up for coverage, as of Thursday, so the final figure will likely approach the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office’s initial projection of 7 million.
Those that don’t will have to pay a penalty of $95, or 1% of income, whichever is greater. For someone earning $50,000, that translates into a $399 fine for 2014.