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U.S. says Social Security computer outage to affect HealthCare.gov

A busy screen is shown on the laptop of a Certified Application Counselor as he attempted to enroll an interested person for Affordable Care Act insurance, known as Obamacare, at the Borinquen Medical Center in Miami, Florida October 2, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Joe Skipper
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Monday said people hoping to enroll in health coverage for March 1 may have trouble applying by Saturday's deadline because of a planned 62-hour maintenance shutdown of a Social Security Administration computer system.

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), the lead Obamacare agency, said the shutdown will prevent applicants from verifying their Social Security numbers and other data through the federal website, HealthCare.gov. Those unable to enroll because of the outage can request special enrollment for coverage beginning March 1, CMS said.

The Social Security computer system will be down from 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT) on Saturday until 5 a.m. EST (1000 GMT) on Tuesday, February 18, CMS said. CMS said those who have already completed an application will still able to shop or select a plan through the website.

(Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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