The opening day for the online marketplaces faced tremendous struggles with a closed government and web traffic jams.
What was meant to be a smooth transition into the next phase of the healthcare reforms was a constant battle for the health insurance exchanges which went on to open despite the shutdown of the U.S. government, only to face technical glitches preventing access to many of those who wanted to take part.
Web traffic snarls and glitches in websites stopped many Americans from using the exchanges on the first day.
The U.S. government did manage to launch this central element of Obama’s landmark healthcare reform yesterday, on October 1, 2013, making it possible – at least in theory – for the millions of uninsured individuals and families across the country to be able to shop around for the various types of coverage that are available to them, and then choose the health insurance plan that best suits their needs and their budget.
For those who actually tried to check out the health insurance exchanges on the first day, that wasn’t always the story.
Technical glitches were rampant among many of the health insurance exchanges on the first day of the six month open enrollment period. This may seem like a rocky start – especially combined with the partial federal government shutdown that as precipitated by the Republican opposition to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that caused Congress to become deadlocked from a related spending bill – but at least this was only the first day and there is a great deal of opportunity to improve.
Among the federally run health insurance exchanges, consumers in 36 different states started seeing error messages. At least 25 of those states started seeing those messages very shortly after the 8 a.m. (Eastern Time) opening of the sites. The very high traffic volume was cited as being the primary cause of these struggles. An official from the Obama administration did say that experts were aware of the issues that had occurred and that they were already working on resolving them. Equally, the Department of Health and Human Services recommended that consumers who were struggling with the online channel should use the local community organizers and call centers as their next resource.