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U.S. HealthCare.gov website faces new tests as traffic builds

A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York in this October
A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York in this October

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama and his HealthCare.gov website face another critical test starting this week, as Americans who have been unable to enroll in health coverage under Obamacare rush to a site that continues to face challenges.

A day after the administration said it met its weekend deadline for making HealthCare.gov operate smoothly for most users, networks of volunteer organizations are expected to resume enrollment activities after a long U.S. Thanksgiving holiday weekend, many of them with backlogs of would-be applicants waiting for access.

While saying HealthCare.gov had improved, Obama adviser Jeffrey Zients also warned that peak traffic volumes during the coming weeks could overwhelm it as consumers scramble to sign up before a December 23 deadline for coverage that begins January 1.

Enroll America, the nonprofit group that serves as a flagship for private sector enrollment efforts under Obama's landmark healthcare law, said it planned to launch a new "Coverage is Coming" push, with more than 1,000 events over the next three weeks ranging from commemorations of World AIDS Day to community health summits and holiday toy drives, according to Enroll America spokesman Justin Nisly.

AIDS Alabama, a statewide non-profit organization that received a federal grant to help people enroll, had been relying largely on paper applications to sign people up until last week, when they noticed major improvement in the website, said Lauren Banks, the organization's director of policy and advocacy.

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