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Briefly: CMS Warns Consumers About Heavy Call Volume Approaching Enrollment Deadline

Consumers who phone the federal call center to enroll in health insurance for 2019 may be asked to leave their contact information but they'll still be able to enroll after Saturday's deadline.
December 11, 2018

As expected, the federal health insurance online marketplace is getting hit by a heavy volume of consumers trying to sign up for health insurance by Saturday's deadline.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversees the marketplace, said it was hit by a spike in traffic on Monday that caused a "brief" delay on the website, It also warned that some consumers might not be able to reach a person at its call center.

"Consistent with previous years, as we get close to the deadline, some consumers who are calling the marketplace call center may be asked to leave their contact information and will be allowed to enroll in a plan after the December 15 deadline," the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said in a statement.

The call center is staffed 24/7. To reach it, call 800-318-2596 or, for the hearing impaired, 855-889-4325. When the volume gets too high, callers will be asked to leave their contact information. If that happens, don't panic. Federal officials will call people back to help them pick plans and complete their applications. 

The only way to qualify for a subsidy, is by signing up for insurance on the website.

You can reach Lynne Terry at [email protected].