The federal government’s Obamacare exchange website, Healthcare.gov, has already experienced service outages. (RELATED: Obamacare website fails when GOP Congressman attempts to sign up)
The Daily Caller News Foundation attempted to access the online exchange, which serves the 36 states that opted to have the federal government run their Obamacare marketplaces, and received an error message that “the System is down” at the moment.
The Washington Examiner also documented several, unsuccessful attempts to make an account to purchase insurance in Virginia’s federally-run Obamacare marketplace. The results were disastrous.
After getting kicked off not once, but twice, due to website glitches and system errors, the exchange’s final advice was to “Contact your system administrator.”
Now, even those already with an account can’t access the website. The site’s “live chat” features were also functioning slowly or not at all for some users.
Reports have blamed heavy traffic on the site’s failures, which also include incomplete pages and nonsense text.
The website’s malfunction at the moment of Obamacare’s debut may hinder the administration’s goal of having at least 7 million exchange customers by January 1.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which runs the federal exchange, acknowledged the problems.
“We have built a dynamic system and are prepared to make adjustments as needed and improve the consumer experience,” said Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for HHS, in a statement on the site’s delays.
But administrators also have much bigger problems to worry about.
Even if consumers were able to access the exchange, they wouldn’t be able to determine an accurate price of their health care: the federal software that determines whether customers are eligible for federal subsidies under Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act still isn’t functioning properly.
The federal program’s problems will hold consumers up in the 36 states that have opted not to run their own Obamacare marketplace. But the technical issues have come up in the other 14 states and Washington, D.C. as well.
DC Health Link, the capital’s marketplace, revealed just last week that it won’t be able to calculate subsidies online either.
The Oregon marketplace delayed its online exchange entirely by several weeks. Oregonians that want to start looking for exchange insurance in October will have to go to an insurance broker in person.
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