HealthCare.Gov shutting down for maintenance — and just in time for Youth Enrollment day!
posted at 6:41 pm on February 11, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
The Obama administration has been waging a steady and targeted campaign in their ever-vigilant quest to persuade young and healthy individuals to sign up for ObamaCare and hence assure that the system has the proper demographic mix to avoid the dreaded death-spiral scenario, but so far, the youth numbers just aren’t what they ought to be. As of mid-January, only about 24 percent of the system’s signups through 2013 were from the coveted 18-to-34 year old age group, and if the administration is going to convince the kids to do their bidding, they’re quickly running out of time as the March 31st deadline approaches.
That’s why they’ve put together a super-targeted nationwide event this weekend to really kick the awareness campaign into high gear, via YAF’s Ashley Pratte at Red Alert Politics:
Feb. 15 is also National Youth Enrollment Day, where the administration is promoting more than 200 nationwide events where young people can get covered. Groups such as United Way, Young Invincibles, Get Covered America and the American Cancer Society are partnering to promote enrollment through different events.
As Red Alert Politics also points out, however, the big youth event seems to rather… er… oddly timed, via The Hill:
HealthCare.gov will be out of service for two and a half days beginning on Feb. 15 — the last day people can sign up to obtain coverage that begins on March 1.
The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services announced in a blog post on Monday that the ObamaCare website would be lacking some enrollment functionalities so the Social Security Administration can conduct its annual systems maintenance activities.
The site will be out of order from 3 p.m. on Feb. 15 until 5 a.m. on Tuesday — a period that coincides with the long holiday weekend.
Those seeking coverage by March 1 must have signed up online by Feb. 15, but with the website maintenance, those registering at the last minute won’t be able to find out what plans or subsidies they qualify for.
CMS is directing people to sign up through the hotline while the site is “lacking some enrollment functionalities,” but my question is, why do maintenance through the weekend at all, rather than 3 A.M. on a Tuesday? Isn’t the weekend the time when most working people and students would have time to sit down and try to enroll, especially since, you know, you’re holding this huge youth outreach campaign the day of the deadline to “get covered” by March 1st? Maybe?
Update: I initially wrote that the site would be “down” through the weekend, but as The Hill put it, it will only be “lacking some enrollment functionalities.” Clarified above.