WASHINGTON – The federal website where consumers can sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act got off to a slow start Thursday on the first day of open enrollment.

But things seemed to be running normally at HealthCare.gov by about 9 a.m. EDT.

During the early morning, people accessing the site were directed to a screen that said work was underway. A recording at the HealthCare.gov call center conveyed a similar message.

A spokesperson for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said later that HealthCare.gov is open for business. The federal site serves 39 states.

With health care a major issue in the midterm elections, sign-up season under the Trump administration is getting close scrutiny.

Open enrollment ends Dec. 15 for coverage starting Jan. 1.

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