HealthCare.gov on the mend

White House spokesman says the worst of the online glitches may be over
Associated Press
Dec 3, 2013

Computer crashes should be giving way to insurance coverage — if the government's diagnosis of its health care website is correct.

The Health and Human Services Department released a progress report Sunday on its effort get the troubled HealthCare.gov website on the mend. Administration officials said the worst of the online glitches, bugs and delays may be over.

"The bottom line — HealthCare.gov on Dec. 1 is night and day from where it was on Oct. 1," said Jeff Zients, the White House's troubleshooter tasked with making the website function properly.

Overnight Sunday, technicians deployed a major new upgrade in the form of a window shopping feature that lets consumers get details on their insurance options without first having to fill out an application.

The lack of an anonymous shopper feature was one of the major early shortcomings of the system. A stopgap version that was belatedly put in place until now was seen as rudimentary at best. The new version lets consumers get premium quotes by age, and also displays important plan details such as deductibles.

Yet officials acknowledged more work remains on the website, which made its national debut two months ago with hundreds of software flaws, inadequate equipment and inefficient management. Federal workers and private contractors have undertaken an intense reworking of the system.

One problem that consumers can't see — at least not yet — is quickly moving up to the top of the White House priority list. Insurers complain that much of the enrollment information they have gotten through the system's back-room operation is practically useless: erroneous, duplicative or garbled.

That raises the possibility that a patient could go to use their new coverage next January at the pharmacy or doctor's office only to be told they are not in the system.

"In addition to fixing the technical problems with healthcare.gov the significant 'back-end' issues must also be resolved to ensure that coverage can begin on January 1," said Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, the largest industry trade group. "In particular, the ongoing problems with processing...enrollment files need to be fixed."

The next crucial deadline for the system is Dec. 23, two days before Christmas.

Consumers must be enrolled by that date so their coverage can kick in on the first of the year.

"There's not really any way to verify from the outside that the vast majority of people who want to enroll can now do so, but we'll find out at least anecdotally over the coming days if the system can handle the traffic and provide a smooth experience for people trying to sign up," said Larry Levitt, a senior adviser at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

But, he added, HealthCare.gov is clearly working better than when it first went online. Its challenge now is to convince users who were frustrated during their first visit to give it another chance.

HealthCare.gov was envisioned as the principal place for people in 36 states to buy insurance under President Barack Obama's health care law. But its first few weeks were an embarrassment for the administration and its allies.

Obama made Dec. 1 a self-imposed deadline to fix several significant problems and the administration organized a conference call with reporters Sunday to boast that 400 technical problems had been resolved. Officials, however, declined to say how many items remain on the to-do list.

Even with the repairs in place, the site still won't be able to do everything the administration wants, and companion sites for small businesses and Spanish speakers have been delayed. Questions remain about the stability of the site and the quality of the data it delivers to insurers.

Obama promised a few weeks ago that HealthCare.gov "will work much better on Nov. 30, Dec. 1, than it worked certainly on Oct. 1." But, in trying to lower expectations, he said he could not guarantee that "100 percent of the people 100 percent of the time going on this website will have a perfectly seamless, smooth experience."

Obama rightly predicted errors would remain. The department reported the website was up and running 95 percent of the time last week — meaning a 1-in-20 chance remains of encountering a broken website. The government also estimated that pages crashed at a rate less than once every 100 clicks.

But the administration gave itself a passing grade for meeting its goal of allowing 50,000 people to log onto the website at one time and more than 800,000 people to shop for insurance coverage each day.

If true, it's a dramatic improvement from the system's first weeks, when frustrated buyers watched their computer screen freeze, the website crash and error messages multiply.

The figures — which could not be independently verified — suggest millions of Americans could turn to their laptops to shop for and buy insurance policies by Dec. 23.

 

Comments

Contango

My favorite was former Obama senior adviser David Plouffe who assured everyone that Obamacare would work REALLY GREAT in 2017.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/poli...

Maybe Pres. Obama should put ALL the mandates off until he's outa office and then he can blame the NEXT Admin. lol

Contango

Under ACA, " subsidies are only to be made available, and tax penalties for not signing up for health insurance are only to be assessed, in states that create their own health-care exchange."

Kinda gives states an incentive to let the feds handle the health-care exchanges doesn't it?

Do you ever get the idea that the Nobel Prize Winner-in-Chief and his lackey Democrats didn't think this whole thing through very well and had to ram it through quickly?

http://online.wsj.com/news/artic...

"More legal trouble for Affordable Care Act":

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la...

Dr. Information

Just as the White House starts to boast the success…….this happens…..lol, its totally botched. Hey SR, you might want to do a better job promoting Obamacare and get up to date articles on what really is going on with this healthcare.gov because this article you put on here is complete trash.

New Obamacare website 'fix' CRASHES just as White House boasts of its success
Government programmers designed a 'queueing' feature to help avoid system crashes, emailing users to return when traffic levels are lower
That new add-on, too, crashed on Monday while President Obama's chief spokesman was boasting that it would 'improve the user experience'
Between midnight and noon on Monday, 375,000 people visited healthcare.gov – a fraction of whom actually purchased medical insurance
Amazon.com expects to complete 13 million online sales on Cyber Monday

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/...
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Contango

"Obamacare's New Goal: Stay Alive Until 2015":

"The object is no longer 7 million people signed up through the exchanges, with 2.7 million of them young and healthy, and the health-care cost curve bending back toward the earth. It is to keep the program alive until 2015."

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/20...

mikesee

Interesting reading the other day, ACA does NOT cover ages 1 day to 2 years! If you can you must purchase a policy on the private side.

toredown11

This is completely false. This rumor was started on Fox News when a man from New York called and stated that he had to take out a separate policy for his baby. Some Republican politicians even repeated the story. It turns out that although the guy from New York listed three of his children on his application, he forgot to include the baby. Total falsehood - of course plans purchased from the Obamacare exchange covers babies!

mikesee

Not.

grumpy

The part of the website I like best are all the security they have built into it. There is NONE. nice to realize that you give your private info, including your SS number, address and more, into a gov't website with no security. Gov't work at its finest. We need to gov't in charge of more things in our lives.

That last sentence, in case you don't recognize it was sarcasm.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101225308

ladydye_5

Some of the navigators that they hired are CRIMINALS too. They had no background checks and were not investigated. Why would you want a convicted criminal "helping" you put your personal information into an unsecured system? Nothing like GIVING your social security number along with your birthdate to an identity thief WILLINGLY!!!!

Huron_1969

The same administration that provided security in Benghazi

Mommy25

John McAfee even said the obamacare website was setting the American people up to be bilked out of millions and that it is a hackers dream come true.

http://www.redflagnews.com/headl...

Fromthe419

I just did the calculations of a person working for minimum wage and working (the new normal 36 hours per week), and if they choose a Gold plan to reduce the maximum out of pocket expenses 58 percent of their after tax income will go towards health care. Welcome to the NEW United States of America folks, the ACA had good intentions, but the role out will have consequences that far outweigh any benefits.

ladydye_5

My husband just started a new job with our benefits just kicking in Dec 1. I registered on our plans website and was researching and reading thru all the information. I came across the FAQ section and found ACA FEES. I clicked on it and found 3 fees that you MAY find on EVERY EOB that your receive. These are fees that you may or may not find on your EOBS. Fees that are required to be paid by your PLAN (yeah right) or you the consumer. Be sure to check your plans! Everyone will be paying them!

deertracker

You are whining and the coverage has not even kicked in yet. Do you pay from an EOB? Your hubby can always decline the insurance. Complain, complain, complain!

ladydye_5

EVERYONE pays the fee. YOU will too. They make EVERYONE pay it. It HAS kicked in! It is on the bills as of NOW. Did you not see my insurance started Dec 1? It is on the bills as of NOW. Do you really think that the insurance company is going to pay it for me? HECK NO! They will pass that little fee on to me. And if we decline that insurance then we get OBAMACARE and it will still be on that insurance also. EVERYONE IN AMERICA will pay these fees.

SamAdams

Still difficult/iffy to access. And when you DO access it, the insurance companies frequently don't get correct or complete information. But the bad guys CAN get the info. you enter because there's virtually zero security in place. In the unlikely event you DO succeed, you can look forward to coverage you don't want or need, and premiums that are higher than ever (which dovetails nicely with higher than ever deductibles and co-pay percentages though is apparently offset with lower levels of access for most -- sarcasm there, too, lest you be confused).

Yep, sounds like a government project to ME! Only Obumbles and his sycophants could possibly consider any part of this a good idea, and the implementation has been even worse. Yes, it's good that Obamacare will collapse under its own weight, and likely sooner rather than later. But it's nothing but BAD news where myriad negative repercussions are concerned!

THANKS, Congress, for actually giving a dam* about your constituents! (Yes, sarcasm again, but there's not much else left, is there?)

deertracker

So you want this to fail?

Contango

Re: "So you want this to fail?"

News flash: This bastardized free market approach is DESTINED to fail without massive govt. spending to keep it propped up.

mikesee

YES!

Contango

OMG! Can this Obam☭are cluster (bleep) get any worse?

"Insurers Are Offered Assistance For Losses":

"The White House is offering more money to insurance companies as an incentive for them to let people keep insurance policies that were to have been canceled next year."

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101241151

Over 60% of Americans will be getting 'some kind' of taxpayer subsidy - this is financially unsustainable.

Pete

Breaking:

Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9 Relief.

What Democrats did for Detroit, they will soon do for America!

Contango

"How to Fix Detroit in 6 Easy Steps":

http://www.freemansperspective.c...

Pete

Judge Rhodes: "It is indeed a momentous day. We have here a judicial finding that this once proud and prosperous city is insolvent."

sandtown born a...

I find it most disturbing that the companies who provide medical benefits are using the whole health care implementation to gouge the employees for more money. I read that a increase of 1-3% would be seen by covered employees. We were just informed our rates are going up a whopping 29% ! Blame obamacare for the increase my butt, corporations taking more and more and blaming obamacare is the new way I guess

deertracker

Exactly and the HATERS fall for it hook line and sinker!

Contango

Re: "We were just informed our rates are going up a whopping 29% !"

The plans are getting into compliance with the new Obama☭are increased benefits and coverages.

What? Did you believe Pres. Obama when he said that you'd see an annual reduction of $2,500?

sandtown born a...

So wrong try informing yourself with a opened mind if that's possible. Insurance companies stated 1-3% is all we should see of course unless your company wants to pad the profits even more then it's hey let's blame Obamacare it's working for everyone else.

Pete

The 1-3% figure, was that from the insurer your company uses or something you read on the web?

Contango

Re: "your company wants to pad the profits even more,"

Cos. don't make money on providing health ins. to their employees, they pass the costs along.

PLUS they deduct the premiums so YOU get lower costs through their tax break.

What percentage of the premium does your employer pay?

Face it, Obama☭are is a major cluster (bleep). Why do you think that he's pushed back the mandates???

So other than b*tch and moan what are you gonna do about the increase?

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