Calif. online health exchange to go offline Tuesday at 9PM PT to 'optimize performance'

Site expected back online early Wednesday

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The enrollment section of California's new online health insurance marketplace will be offline from 9 p.m. through early Wednesday to "optimize performance" after thousands of state residents overloaded the site on the first day of the new federal health care law.

Californians also flooded call centers with questions as the Affordable Care Act took effect -- marking a dramatic change in the way Americans buy health insurance.

Dozens of workers at a call center in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova began fielding calls after a countdown to the 8 a.m. opening of the health exchange.

The agency that runs the exchange, Covered California, said it received 1 million hits on the website (http://bit.ly/19g1FIu) during the first 90 minutes after the exchange opened, and about 800,000 per hour after that.

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