Obamacare’s still-new open enrollment process has experienced hiccups on Saturday. After its midnight launch, HealthCare.gov wouldn’t allow users to log into their accounts, reminding experts of last year’s spectacularly botched start. By early afternoon, however, the issue seemed resolved.
The website’s launch was greeted with much anticipation, especially after last year’s debacle. According to estimates made by the Department of Health and Human Services, over 23,000 people managed to submit applications within the first eight hours of the website’s launch.
However, even if some managed to successfully enroll, many state-run exchanges experienced issues. Washington state, for instance, was forced to take its exchange offline in order to resolve a problem connected to 2015 tax credit amounts. It seems that these were being wrongly calculated. In Colorado, on the other hand, brokers had issues with displaying cost-sharing subsidies. Error messages were also commonly encountered during these first few hours.
“We’d go in with an e-mail account, can set up an account, verify it and create a password, but when go back to actually log in with that information, it says your password is invalid,”
Will Chapman, Brokers at the Health Insurance Store of Louisiana owner said.
Chapman, for instance, was only able to enroll his customers in the early afternoon as neither his agents nor his clients could log into their accounts. He decided to contact the call center around midday and was informed that the issues had been reported nationwide.
HHS spokesman, Aaron Albright explained that such minor hiccups were expected at the launch of a project of such complexity. Albright added that the reported issues hadn’t been numerous and that the majority of users had smooth experiences while enrolling. He did not fail to mention that the department would not desist in working every day to ensure the customer’s easy experience.
Reporters also attempted to create accounts. Out of three reporters who had created accounts, one could not log in. After contacting customer service and having the account manually unlocked, the reporter still could not log in for another two hours.
In other states, such as Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina, things appeared to run smoothly.
“The Exchange and Department of Social & Health Services staff will be working closely together to identify the solution and hope to have the site back up as soon as possible,”
Richard Onizuka, CEO for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange said in a statement after Washington continued experiencing issues.