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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

SO FAR SO BAD! Obamacare Exchanges Open to Mass Confusion

Obamacare Exchanges opened today and the initial reports are as expected full of problems and chaos. CNN is reporting that at least two-thirds of the exchanges are experiencing problems.  Below are some of those initial disastrous reports:

  • Consumers Are Experiencing Long Wait Times And “Problems With The Application Process.” “Early issues that some people are seeing include long wait times for accessing the site, problems with the application process and long waits to chat with customer service representatives online.” (Jason Millman, “HHS: ‘Aware’ Of Issues,” Politico, 10/1/13)
  • “ObamaCare’s New Health Insurance Marketplaces Experienced A Range Of Technical Glitches Tuesday Morning As They Opened To Enroll Patients For The First Time.” (Elise Viebeck, “Technical Problems Mar Launch Of ObamaCare Exchanges,” The Hill’s Health Watch, 10/1/13)
  • Users Experienced Troubles Creating An Account. “Users experienced difficulty with the first step — creating an account — which barred them from accessing the rest of the system.” (Elise Viebeck, “Technical Problems Mar Launch Of ObamaCare Exchanges,” The Hill’s Health Watch, 10/1/13)
  • The “Live Chat” Function Was Slow To Load. “The enrollment site and its ‘live chat’ function were also loading extremely slowly as of Tuesday morning.” (Elise Viebeck, “Technical Problems Mar Launch Of ObamaCare Exchanges,” The Hill’s Health Watch, 10/1/13)
  • Users Received “Error Messages … Indicating That The ‘System Is Down.’” “Some users received error messages asking for patience as the pages loaded, or indicating that the ‘system is down.’” (Elise Viebeck, “Technical Problems Mar Launch Of ObamaCare Exchanges,” The Hill’s Health Watch, 10/1/13)
  • Some Users Were “Sent To Pages With Incomplete Or Nonsense Text.” “Others were ultimately sent to pages with incomplete or nonsense text, perhaps due to heavy traffic.” (Elise Viebeck, “Technical Problems Mar Launch Of ObamaCare Exchanges,” The Hill’s Health Watch, 10/1/13)
  • Jon Tucci, A 60-Year-Old Grandfather Spent Over Ten Hours Trying “To Enroll In West Virginia’s New Insurance Marketplace.” “Jon Tucci stayed up until midnight Monday, hoping to enroll on West Virginia’s new insurance marketplace at the first moment possible. Ten hours later — after two attempts at signing up and one 45-minutes call with a consumer service agent — technical glitches have prevented the 60-year-old grandfather from purchasing a plan.” (Sarah Kliff, “Signing Up For ObamaCare: ‘This Was Really Disappointing,’” The Washington Post’s WonkBlog, 10/1/13)
  • In Georgia, Users Have Been Unable To Access The State’s ObamaCare Exchange. ANCHOR: “You can start shopping for health insurance through the new Obamacare online marketplace exchanges. We’re already experiencing some problems ourselves in trying access the exchanges. We’ve gotten some Facebook comments, some comments from you that you’ve tried and had trouble. So we tried overnight to set up an account but kept getting error messages. We’re now working to get answers as to when the problems will be resolved. People who don’t have insurance are supposed to be able to sign up today for open enrollment starting today, benefits set to kick in January 1. If you fail to sign up by the time open enrollment ends, which is March 31, the penalties would begin, meaning you would be penalized for not having insurance.” (WXIA-ATL’s “News At 6AM,” 10/1/13)
  • “The Myriad Errors Underscore” The Challenges Facing ObamaCare Exchanges. “The myriad errors underscore the challenge for federal health officials in mounting the online marketplaces, which are meant to enroll millions of patients in the next six months.” (Elise Viebeck, “Technical Problems Mar Launch Of ObamaCare Exchanges,” The Hill’s Health Watch, 10/1/13)
  • Several States Recently Announced That They “Were Still Struggling To Get Plan Information To Display Accurately On Their Websites.” “Glitches are likely to pop up in the new online insurance markets. Over the weekend, several states were still struggling to get plan information to display accurately on their websites. Earlier, the federal government announced delays for small business and Spanish-language sign-ups. A protracted government shutdown could slow needed technology fixes.” (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, “Affordable Care Act Goes Live Today, Glitches And All,” The Associated Press, 10/1/13)
  • Connecticut And Delaware’s ObamaCare Exchange Have Acknowledged Delays Via Twitter. “Access Health CT, Connecticut’s state-run exchange, and Choose Health Delaware, which the state is running in partnership with the feds, braced consumers for delays. But they also reminded Twitter followers that they’ve got plenty of time to sign up.” (Jason Millman, “ObamaCare Exchanges Tweet Their Apologies,” Politico, 10/1/13)
  • Access Health Connecticut Says They Want To Warn Folks That This Was A System That Was Rushed To Meet A Deadline And Because Of That, They Are Still Working Out All Of The Kinks.” ANCHORMAN: “Despite the government shutdown, today marks the opening of the healthcare exchanges. The new marketplace is opening for the uninsured to buy more affordable healthcare. Organizers say they are ready to go but they are warning people problems could prop up. Our Abby Niezgoda joins us live in New Britain with the details. First problem is, the building behind you is not going to open in time.” ABBY NIEZGODA: “That is exactly right, Brad. And you know it’s been a mad dash for the state to get this health insurance marketplace up and running in time. And now that time has run out as you can see. As you mentioned this storefront, not going to open today. You were supposed to be able to walk in here easily and sign up for coverage today, but because of construction delays, you’re going to have to find another way to enroll, at least for the next few weeks. … Now Access Health Connecticut says they want to warn folks that this was a system that was rushed to meet a deadline and because of that, they are still working out all of the kinks.” (WVIT-CT, 10/1/13)
  • In Florida, “The Debut Of The New Health Exchanges Was Plagued This Morning, At Least Locally, By Technical Glitches On The Government’s Website, Healthcare.Gov.” (David Hackett, “Hiccup At Florida ACA Exchange Site,” Herald-Tribune, 10/1/13)
  • “Attempts To Register And Find Out What Health Care Plans Were Available In Florida Were Stymied By Computer Issues That Failed To Show The Security Questions Needed To Establish Enrollment.” “Attempts to register and find out what health care plans were available in Florida were stymied by computer issues that failed to show the security questions needed to establish enrollment. Another glitch filled the enrollment screen with computer coding symbols.” (David Hackett, “Hiccup At Florida ACA Exchange Site,” Herald-Tribune, 10/1/13)
  • In Illinois, “Heavy Internet Traffic And System Problems Plagued The Launch Of The New Health Insurance Exchanges Tuesday Morning.” “Heavy Internet traffic and system problems plagued the launch of the new health insurance exchanges Tuesday morning. Consumers attempting to log on were met with an error message early Tuesday due to an overload of Internet traffic.” (Peter Frost, “Heavy Traffic Hits Health Care Exchange Websites On First Day,” Chicago Tribune, 10/1/13)
  • “That Wasn’t The End Of The Problems. Once Logging Into The Exchange, A List Of Required Security Questions Were Left Blank, And An Attempt To Reload The Page Was Met With Another Error Message.” “That wasn’t the end of the problems. Once logging into the exchange, a list of required security questions were left blank, and an attempt to reload the page was met with another error message: ‘The system is down at the moment. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Please try again later.’” (Peter Frost, “Heavy Traffic Hits Health Care Exchange Websites On First Day,” Chicago Tribune, 10/1/13)
  • In Maryland, The State’s Maryland Health Connection Website Was Set To Open At 8 A.M. Local Time, But A Notice Is Now Telling Consumers To Try Again At Noon.” “In Maryland, the state’s Maryland Health Connection website was set to open at 8 a.m. local time, but a notice is now telling consumers to try again at noon. The notice said the site is ‘experiencing connectivity issues.’” (Jennifer Corbett Dooren, “Some State Exchanges Delayed Until Afternoon,” The Wall Street Journal, 10/1/13)
  • ObamaCare’s Missouri Exchange Is Filled With Glitches, Errors, And Technical Difficulties. REPORTER: “Yeah Dave, our executive producer tried to enroll in Missouri’s online healthcare marketplace and it turned into a difficult task. He received numerous error messages and he eventually got to talk to a member of the health insurance marketplace live chat. the member apologized for the inconvenience and said the site is very busy right now due to the volume of traffic and he also said the site is ‘experiencing a few technical difficulties.’ the health insurance marketplace will officially open at 8 am eastern standard time to accept applications. If you want to enroll, you’ll need accurate income information for your household, plus some understanding of how health insurance works, so you can get the financial assistance you qualify for and pick a health plan that’s right for your needs. The process involves federal agencies electronically verifying your identity, citizenship and income, and you have to sign that you are providing truthful information, which is subject to perjury laws. Your experience will be different depending on what state you live in.” (KCTV5’s “It’s Your Morning,” 10/1/13)
  • On The Obamacare Exchanges, “Error Messages, Unfinished Security Forms, And Misspelled Notices At Every Click.” REPORTER: At midnight, another congressman tried to log on. Tim Huelskamp tried to sign up for the ObamaCare exchanges and he said quote, ‘We have been warned time and time again that ObamaCare is not ready for prime time. Well, it turns out that is right. When I tried to sign up for the exchanges, I was met with error messages, unfinished security forms, and misspelled notices at every click.’” (KCTV5’s “It’s Your Morning,” 10/1/13)
  • Oregon’s ObamaCare Exchange “Is Still Experiencing Glitches” That Are “Expected To Be Resolved Later In October.” “The new ‘Cover Oregon’ health exchange was expected to open its enrollment Tuesday. But the Associated Press reports late Monday that the state’s insurance marketplace is still experiencing glitches — incorrectly determining eligibility for tax credits, the Oregon Health Plan and Healthy Kids. The problem is expected to be resolved later in October.” (Kohr Harlan, “‘Cover Oregon’ Not Quite ready,” The Associated Press, 10/1/13)
  • “Officials Said Late Last Night That Oregon’s Healthcare Exchange – Called Cover Oregon – Is Still Experiencing Glitches. The Online System Is Not Correctly Determining Eligibility…” ANCHORWOMAN: “Despite the government shutdown, the healthcare exchanges set up by the new healthcare law will open today, but not here in Oregon. Officials said late last night that Oregon’s healthcare exchange – called Cover Oregon – is still experiencing glitches. The online system is not correctly determining eligibility for tax credits, the Oregon health plan, and Healthy Kids. The problem is expected to be resolved later this month. So while you can’t actually enroll right now, you can find certified insurance agents or community organizations to help you start the process. And you can browse through insurance options and price estimates. But nobody will be able to enroll in coverage until the problems are fixed. Individuals have until December 15 to enroll for coverage that begins January 1.” (KMTR-OR, 10/1/13)
  • 600,000 Oregonians Will Not Be Able To Sign On The “Cover Oregon” Website. “This means the 600,000 or so Oregonians currently without health insurance can’t yet begin signing up for guaranteed-acceptance insurance options directly through the Cover Oregon website.” (Kohr Harlan, “‘Cover Oregon’ Not Quite ready,” The Associated Press, 10/1/13)
And folks...that's just before lunch.

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