UPDATE: The Healthcare.gov website now appears to be working properly. With today being the last day to sign up for coverage, users should expect delays.

The Associated Press reports that the site, normally taken down for maintenance during the period from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. EDT, had technical problems that forced the site to stay down for at least three additional hours on Monday morning.

(NBC) - People trying to apply and enroll for private health insurance through Obamacare before Monday's midnight deadline are discovering the website is "currently unavailable."

Healthcare.gov, the online marketplace bedeviled by bugs since its launch last fall, is down, a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services said. The statement said "the tech team is working now to bring the system online as soon as possible."

Monday at midnight ET is the deadline to sign up for insurance in the online markets created by President Barack Obama's signature health care law where the federal government is running the sign-up website; states running their own exchanges set their own deadlines.

The administration announced and extension for those who had started an application by Monday but didn't finish, perhaps because of errors, missing information or website glitches. The government says it will accept paper applications until April 7 and take as much time as necessary to handle unfinished cases on HealthCare.gov.