Federal exchange network is experiencing a surge of activity as insurance deadline nears
As the national deadline for health insurance coverage in the U.S. looms, exchanges are being clogged with insurance applications from the uninsured. After March 31 this year, the open enrollment period for exchanges will come to an end. This means that consumers throughout the U.S. will no longer be able to purchase coverage through these exchanges, but will have to rely on the private market for the coverage they need. As the deadline approaches, consumers have flocked to exchanges throughout the country in order to find affordable coverage. This surge of applications has caused some problems for these exchanges.
Consumers find it difficult to submit applications and connect with navigators
The federal exchange portal HealthCare.gov has seen a significant increase in consumer applications in recent weeks. The website has begun blocking applications from many people and has been showing serious technical problems as people continue to flood the site. Many people are finding it impossible to submit applications through the website while others are not being directed to the exchange websites of their own states. Moreover, many people are finding it impossible to access insurance navigators, as there are simply not enough of these navigators available.
Current problems are similar to those experienced during the initial launch of exchanges
These problems are similar to those that were seen during the launch of the federal exchange website in 2013. The federal exchange network experienced serious technical problems for months after it was officially launched. These problems prevented many people from finding the insurance coverage they needed, drawing a great deal of criticism to the Affordable Care Act and the federal government. Though many of these problems have been resolved, the sudden surge in traffic from consumers throughout the country has put the federal exchange network to the test once again.
Flood of consumer activity clogs the federal exchange network
Over the weekend, the federal call center for the exchange network received more than 270,000 calls from people looking for more information or assistance on the application process. On Sunday, HealthCare.gov received more than 50,000 simultaneous users, with the majority of these people finding it impossible to submit applications for insurance coverage.