Obamacare Exchanges Riddled With Glitches

Insurance web sites struggled on the first day that the new health programs opened to applicants

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Health Care Exchanges
Screen shots of several state exchange websites that were down or not yet operating Tuesday morning. 

Obamacare is off to a rocky start. State-based insurance exchange web sites scheduled to launch this morning were riddled with glitches, rendering many unusable.

The exchanges, or marketplaces, are where millions of uninsured Americans are expected to sign up for new health insurance plans and access federal subsidies to make coverage more affordable. An open enrollment period lasts until March 31, 2014, and the earliest new coverage can begin is Jan. 1, 2014, so there is time correct web site snafus. But widespread glitches have complicated the Obama Administration’s efforts to heavily promote the law the same day Republican opposition to the Affordable Care Act led to a shut down of other parts of the federal government.

Exchange homepages in the 34 states where the federally government is fully or partially running insurance marketplaces included one of two messages this morning: “The System is down at the moment” or “Please wait.” In a statement, the Department of Health and Human Services said that healthcare.gov had logged more than 1 million visits in just a few hours.

Many web sites run independently by states were also unusable this morning. New York’s exchange web site, nystateofhealth.ny.gov, at some points displayed an “internal server error” message. Exchange administrators blamed heavy traffic for the glitch, posting a message saying, “Due to overwhelming interest in the NY State of Health – including 2 million visits in the first 2 hours of the site launch – the health exchange is currently having log in issues. We encourage users who are unable to log in to come back to the site later when these issues will be resolved. traffic may have been responsible.”

The web site for Connecticut’s exchange, accesshealthct.com, either did not load at all or told users, “We appreciate your patience as we continue to launch our systems today. Don’t forget you have til Dec 15 to enroll for Jan 1 coverage!”

In Maryland, marylandhealthconnection.gov directed users to a “consumer update” that said, “The Consumer Support Center (toll-free call center) is presently experiencing unexpected connectivity problems. We expect to resolve these issues within the next hour. Thank you for patience.” Another update told Marylanders, “Thank you for visiting Maryland Health Connection. We are experiencing connectivity issues. Please visit the site again at 12 Noon.”

On Twitter, Huffington Post reporter Jason Cherkis reported at 10:27 a.m. Tuesday that:

But by 10:36 a.m., Cherkis tweeted an update:

In a statement, Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for HHS said of the glitches, “We have built a dynamic system and are prepared to make adjustments as needed and improve the consumer experience.”

With reporting by Noah Rayman.

24 comments
michaelpetersmith
michaelpetersmith

For the first two days, the pull-down menus for security questions didn't work. I'm surprised anyone could register.

I finally got a confirmation email that I was registered yesterday, but my login wasn't recognized.

Today I either unable to get to the login page, or my attempts to login result in Oracle errors or 404s.

MaryPilgrimLynch
MaryPilgrimLynch

Of course it is going to have a lot of glitches, give it time and stop rushing it , try tomorrow or the next day.


racerkoi
racerkoi

Big F-ing deal!  Look at the problems Apple and Microsoft have had at times launching a new product.

You are trying to sign up for insurance that won't start until Jan. 1, 2014.

Quit trying to make teething problems prove that "Obamacare" is a failure.  Just the volume of interest proves it is a success.

BobJan
BobJan

I thought no one wants Obamacare?????????? At least that's what the republicants are telling everyone.

j45ashton
j45ashton

I have a systems background.  So here's the deal.  When you roll out a  big, complex system you have to do a lot of testing.  And I'm sure a lot of testing was done in this case.  However, if the system is complex enough, there's no way you can test everything.  So on big systems, some glitches are normally expected when they go live  In addition, the number of participants here is immense.  There's no way you can test by simulating the complexity along with millions & millions of participants hitting the sites simultaneously.  So this is all part of the territory.  Filter out the Republican war-hooping about this & we'll get down to the serious business of getting people insured.  BTW, I'm hoping the government is monitoring any activity that looks like sabotage.  That kind of thing deserves some serious jail time.

Mr.Wallingford
Mr.Wallingford

Just have to laugh at Conservatives: the ACA is so "awful and unpopular" that the overwhelming demand for it is crashing the system. 

jhoughton1
jhoughton1

Time sounds pretty thrilled about these "glitches."  Why?  Does Time Magazine hope it fails and fewer Americans get health insurance?  That's just plain...Republican.

kennybania01
kennybania01

Unexpected demand. Every journalist and political activist in the country is trying the site.

How much of the traffic is orchestrated by opponents looking to sabotage the system? I would not put it past them - they shut down the entire government, what's the harm with a little web mischief? Just sayin'......


wandmdave
wandmdave

wow that aint bad at all for a nationwide launch of a piece of software online software.  Blizzard and whoever owns SimCity now had far far more frequent and severe issues catering to a smaller audience.  Kudos to the infrastructure and programming guys that set this up.

swagger
swagger

i keep seeing articles headlined by the words glitches and problems instead of what should be called interest beyond that anticipated and overloaded servers.  the initial response indicates the right wing extremists worst nightmare--obamacare succeeding more than failing with the failures the best incentive to amend the law to make it work better.

nasbond59
nasbond59

This is great. So many people trying to buy insurance. And people just looking to see what is there. This is why the Reps fought so hard because they knew when the real people had a chance they would use it. All arguments that are being made by the Reps is slowly going down the drain.

swaj99
swaj99

Nevada's site has error all morning

jsnwsch
jsnwsch

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”
- Sir Winston Churchill

jsnwsch
jsnwsch

“As government expands, freedom contracts.” — Ronald Reagan

JeanLudvigsenBinder
JeanLudvigsenBinder

I am just impressed with the numbers WANTING the chance to pay premiums.   Healthcare insurance is SO important to staying fiscally afloat.

The crush reminds me of the first couple times regular people had a chance to contribute to the Obama campaign.  The system crashed with the crush.

MANY Americans want Health Insurance and it has nothing to do with the continuing resolution.

stargazr9690
stargazr9690

It will getting better over time cause everyone is trying to do it in one day they are crashing the system..this too will pass and be great for the country

BobJan
BobJan

@jsnwsch Is this Sarah Palin? Or is this Michele Bachmann? We know that both of these women are a little psycho.

swagger
swagger

@jsnwsch you can quote supposedly wise sayings from every political perspective but they are usually just pithy blabber and irrelevant to any particular issue.

"damn braces, bless relaxes."  blake

JeanLudvigsenBinder
JeanLudvigsenBinder

@jsnwsch How is your comment relevant?  The ACA is hardly an exercise in socialism.  People buy their own insurance from PRIVATE, not government insurance companies.  It doesn't affect the contracts of that those who are already covered in the slightest.  The same healthcare providers, hospitals, doctors, etc are still n play.  If one policy does ont include your preferred doctor, choose a company that does. No boards contradict the wisdom of your physician.  I mean ...really?

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@jsnwsch Did Reagan say that before or after he illegally sold weapons to Iran to finance right wing drug cartels in Nicaragua and Panama?

BobJan
BobJan

@stargazr9690 You know what would be better for the country than Obamacare? Republicans admitting that a white/black President did what they've never been able to do. Ouch, I bet that hurts those old white guys.

BobJan
BobJan

@#libtardedamerica @BobJan Well the republicans said they had 1.6 million people on line that said they don't want Obamacare. And over 20 MILLION are trying to get on. 20 MILLION is way more than 1.6 million. That's the best I can come up with.


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