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Deep sleep: ObamaCare site goes offline for extended maintenance

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Oct. 2, 2013: A man looks over the Affordable Care Act signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York in this photo illustration.REUTERS

The problem-plagued ObamaCare website shut down Saturday night for “extended” repairs, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Technicians have shut down HealthCare.gov during weekends since the site launched Oct. 1 but just for a few overnight hours.

The site was scheduled to be offline from 9 p.m. ET Saturday until 9 a.m. Sunday.

"The HealthCare.gov tech team is performing extended maintenance this weekend to improve network infrastructure and make enhancements to the online application and enrollment tools,” agency spokeswoman Joanne Peters said Saturday.   

The Obama administration says Americas can still apply for insurance coverage by calling a toll-free number available around the clock.

In recent weeks, the administration has brought in outside experts to assist in getting the site running.

Officials say their goal is to eliminate such problems as volume-related crashes, slow response times and incorrect information before the insurance policies kick in January 1, 2014.

They also have set a goal of getting the site running smoothly by month's end and releasing enrollment numbers by mid-November, as Capitol Hill lawmakers hold hearings about the extent of the problems before the site launch and who knew about them.