Midnight deadline looms for Obamacare

The deadline for filing for health care insurance coverage through Obamacare is midnight tonight.

The administration’s health care website, www.healthcare.gov, stumbled with another glitch early Monday and was down for about four hours before it was fixed. A statement from the Department of Health and Human Services called it “a software bug” unrelated to application volume.

The federal site serves 36 states. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia are running their own sites.

The administration and the states appear to be on track to sign up about 6.5 million people for subsidized private health insurance through the new online exchanges.

People who do not have health insurance coverage or have not begun the Obamacare registration process before midnight tonight will be liable to pay a penalty on next year’s federal tax form.

According to the Milwaukee Enrollment Network, Milwaukee support agencies have been stretched to the limit with requests for assistance in signing up. Those who begin the sign-up process before the deadline will be allowed to finish.

“We estimate that we have seen about three times the number of people seeking enrollment help this month in our clinics than we did in previous months,” said Bevan Baker, commissioner of health, City of Milwaukee Health Department. “And, we have been seeing double the number of consumer calls for help enrolling.”

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