(Bloomberg) – Today’s deadline for Americans to sign up for Obamacare health coverage effective Jan. 1 was extended until midnight tomorrow as heavy traffic to the online enrollment system caused a queuing system to be activated.

Government technicians deploy the queuing system when traffic at the site, healthcare.gov, approaches 50,000 simultaneous users. Customers can request that an e-mail automatically be sent when traffic subsides.

“Anticipating high demand and the fact that consumers may be enrolling from multiple time zones, we have taken steps to make sure that those who select a plan through tomorrow will get coverage for Jan. 1,” Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“Anticipating high demand, which we indeed saw starting early Monday morning, and the fact that consumers may be enrolling from multiple time zones, we have taken steps to make sure that those who select a plan through tomorrow will get coverage for Jan 1,” she added in a statement.

It is similar to Election Day, CMS says. “If you are in line when the polls close, you still get to vote.”

Separately, the White House said Monday that President Barack Obama enrolled in a health plan through the DC marketplace. However, since the President receives his health insurance through the U.S. military, signing up for coverage is a symbolic move only. “He was pleased to participate in a plan as a show of support for these marketplaces which are providing quality, affordable health care options to more than a million people,” the official said, adding Obama selected a bronze plan.

Additional reporting by Brian M. Kalish (EBA)

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