Couldn’t reach Idaho Health and Welfare Monday? Its phones have been knocked offline

Several Idaho Department of Health and Welfare services that receive an average of 1,400 daily calls went offline around 10:20 a.m. on Monday and were down all day, a department spokesman said.

Calls to inquiries about Medicare and food stamp eligibility went unanswered, as did calls about tax credits for enrolling in the state’s health insurance exchange, Your Health Idaho. The exchange website and phone system were unaffected, spokesman Tom Shanahan said.

The department’s phone services providers hoped to restore service fully by Tuesday morning, Shanahan said. The department planned to call in additional staff Tuesday to handle a backlog of calls, he said.

“It’s all important stuff, especially to the people who are calling,” he said. “That’s why we’re hoping we can be back up tomorrow.”