UPDATED 04/01/14 12:15 a.m.
WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) —The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night.READ MORE: New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker Testifies At State Hearing On Nursing Home COVID Deaths
At 11 p.m., it appeared that the Affordable Care Act would meet its target of 7 million enrollees. But earlier Monday, millions of Americans were still struggling to enroll as they worked against the clock.
As CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported, in the Bronx Monday, there was a line to sign up.
“I’m getting insurance for myself,” said Paul Brown of Yonkers. “It was on my calendar to come here and make sure that this was possible last minute – but I’m here, and today’s the deadline, but we’re here.”
Sign-ups have lagged, and the Obama administration was hoping for a last-minute surge.
“Human nature is kind of to wait ’til the last minute to get things done,” said City Councilman Andy King (D-12th.) “But fortunately when that happens, we want to make sure that the door is open; opportunity is here.”
But on the last day to sign up, there was another embarrassing glitch for HealthCare.gov. It was down for six hours Monday morning and again Monday afternoon.
“There is a technical problem that the tech team is on,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney. And it forced people to go sign up in person.
Health and Human Services spokesman Aaron Albright said technicians identified an issue affecting consumers trying to create new accounts. As a result, new users couldn’t access the system, but the problem was later resolved.
Albright said more than 100,000 people were using the system at the same time.
The phone lines were also jammed Monday.
“We are currently experiencing very long wait times due a surge in demand for marketplace coverage as the end of open enrollment approaches,” a recorded message said.
Earlier Monday morning, visitors to HealthCare.gov saw messages that the site was down for maintenance. At times, visitors were also directed to a virtual waiting room, a feature designed to ease the strain on the site during periods of heavy use.
Albright said the website undergoes “regular nightly maintenance” during off-peak hours and that period was extended because of a “technical problem.”