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Old 10-01-2013, 10:36 AM   #21
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I wonder what kind of volume testing was done. Or maybe Oct 1st is the volume testing
Doesn't much matter how much volume testing is done on applications. Folks use them different then the 'scripts' were developed. Volume testing is mostly a feel good for management. IMHO.

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Old 10-01-2013, 05:37 PM   #22
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Scary thing for me, now, is that the system DID eventually let me get thru to the personal verification process. It looks very similar to the process that online credit grantors use (I.e., which of these cities have you previously lived, which of these employers, etc). After three questions, it popped up an error message and said that "we're sorry, you will need to contact 1-800-xxx-xxxx for further assistance or you may chose to submit proof of identity directly to us."

I called the 800 # ... It went to the Equifax customer service number where I was asked for the reference number that "would be provided." Of course, that was probably the error message that had popped up. With out that number, they're saying "sorry, can't help ya."

So I managed to get back in one more time but when I logged in, the system told me that I had exhausted my options for personal identity and would need to call either the 1-800 # or submit documents directly .... And, of course, it provided no link for submission of documents.

Going to wait til next Tuesday to try again and, hopefully, they'll have things worked out a bit more smoothly.

(You know, when I've been involved with a major rollout in the private sector, it's been done incrementally instead of nationwide, all at once. Wondering why they wouldn't have rolled out a single state for a couple days and then gradually cleared through the rest of the country where they might have been able to manage volumes. I suppose government works differently than the private sector on that kind of thinking).
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:52 PM   #23
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....
(You know, when I've been involved with a major rollout in the private sector, it's been done incrementally instead of nationwide, all at once. Wondering why they wouldn't have rolled out a single state for a couple days and then gradually cleared through the rest of the country where they might have been able to manage volumes. I suppose government works differently than the private sector on that kind of thinking).
Thanks for that perspective. Though I've never been involved with a massive roll out like this, that exact idea came to mind - why not start out with a limited audience? In my business, we did 'pilot runs', and then 'qualification runs'. Incremental, as you say.

As critical as I am of govt operations (and private sector operations for that matter), I'm willing to cut them some slack - any big roll out is likely to have start-up issues. But this 'open it up to everyone (and every reporter and insurance agent and curious bystander) at once' seems just plain incompetent. Or, if that was something required by law, they needed to be ready for that.

It's one thing when the private sector screws up, we can move to their competitor. But this is one of the things that gets many of us worked up - when the govt controls something, and it is a mandate, and they screw up, what is our option?

I like having options.

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Old 10-01-2013, 08:12 PM   #24
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Thanks for that perspective. Though I've never been involved with a massive roll out like this, that exact idea came to mind - why not start out with a limited audience? In my business, we did 'pilot runs', and then 'qualification runs'. Incremental, as you say. As critical as I am of govt operations (and private sector operations for that matter), I'm willing to cut them some slack - any big roll out is likely to have start-up issues. But this 'open it up to everyone (and every reporter and insurance agent and curious bystander) at once' seems just plain incompetent. Or, if that was something required by law, they needed to be ready for that. It's one thing when the private sector screws up, we can move to their competitor. But this is one of the things that gets many of us worked up - when the govt controls something, and it is a mandate, and they screw up, what is our option? I like having options. -ERD50
Agreed.

I feel fairly confident that they'll have a fix in place before long but if they're working the systems at the same time they're running, it makes it that much tougher.

I guess we will see!
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:23 PM   #25
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(You know, when I've been involved with a major rollout in the private sector, it's been done incrementally instead of nationwide, all at once. Wondering why they wouldn't have rolled out a single state for a couple days and then gradually cleared through the rest of the country where they might have been able to manage volumes. I suppose government works differently than the private sector on that kind of thinking).
I'm not sure your point here is that from a technical IT perspective this would have been more manageable if the Government were to chunk up the enrollment process. It might be the case that a nationwide rollout was required by the dictates of the legislation or principles of public fairness to all. As you probably know, Government IT work, especially a rollout of this magnitude, is generally staffed 90 percent Government contractor (and generally giants in the IT contracting world including a number of Fortune 100 companies) and 10 percent Federal employee (generally Federal managers). I'm not sure Government really works that much differently than the private sector, but the technical and public issues are somewhat daunting to those who merely navigate in the private sector. I say this not to blunt richly deserved criticism for the glitches, but to point out that the Government generally relies on a lot of contractors (from the private sector) to perform this type of work.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:48 PM   #26
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I'm not sure your point here is that from a technical IT perspective this would have been more manageable if the Government were to chunk up the enrollment process. It might be the case that a nationwide rollout was required by the dictates of the legislation or principles of public fairness to all. As you probably know, Government IT work, especially a rollout of this magnitude, is generally staffed 90 percent Government contractor (and generally giants in the IT contracting world including a number of Fortune 100 companies) and 10 percent Federal employee (generally Federal managers). I'm not sure Government really works that much differently than the private sector, but the technical and public issues are somewhat daunting to those who merely navigate in the private sector. I say this not to blunt richly deserved criticism for the glitches, but to point out that the Government generally relies on a lot of contractors (from the private sector) to perform this type of work.
From a distance, the idea of rolling out on 10/1 in, let's say Delaware, Arkansas, and Wyoming as a pilot and them slowly spread across the country with 3-4 new states every few days might have avoided a lot of the issues. I'd expected massive interest from the press and from simple onlookers.

You're probably right .... Likely it was written in such a way as to require full rollout at the same time.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:34 PM   #27
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From a distance, the idea of rolling out on 10/1 in, let's say Delaware, Arkansas, and Wyoming as a pilot and them slowly spread across the country with 3-4 new states every few days might have avoided a lot of the issues. I'd expected massive interest from the press and from simple onlookers.

You're probably right .... Likely it was written in such a way as to require full rollout at the same time.

As a rule IT generally avoids 'big bang' implementations, for good reason.

Hopefully the first set of issues will be 'fixed' and everyone can login and start making choices. From the little I've seen in the past days(public information), this site looks pretty good.

I know I want to see the official data, but all the general public prices that we've seen should be pretty close. I'll be patient.

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Old 10-01-2013, 09:46 PM   #28
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I can remember corporate IT rolling out a major upgrade to something and then everything not working, it happens. Generally had a test system or lab setup where you could put it to test with real users to see what could happen before rolling it out for real.

I notice they have a new page up when you click the login. Now it says

We have a lot of visitors on the site right now.
Please stay on this page.
We're working to make the experience better, and we don’t want you to lose your place in line. We’ll send you to the login page as soon as we can. Thanks for your patience!


Looks they are trying to control the traffic and send you a login page when it's available.

Seems like they could make the plan information available without having to login. I just wanted to get the available plan information to review. Don't have to get signed up till Dec 15th.
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Old 10-01-2013, 09:58 PM   #29
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I notice they have a new page up when you click the login. Now it says

We have a lot of visitors on the site right now.
Please stay on this page.
We're working to make the experience better, and we don’t want you to lose your place in line. We’ll send you to the login page as soon as we can. Thanks for your patience!


Looks they are trying to control the traffic and send you a login page when it's available.
And even then, once you enter login ID and password it usually fails to complete and get you in.
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:00 PM   #30
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Thanks for that perspective. Though I've never been involved with a massive roll out like this, that exact idea came to mind - why not start out with a limited audience? In my business, we did 'pilot runs', and then 'qualification runs'. Incremental, as you say.

As critical as I am of govt operations (and private sector operations for that matter), I'm willing to cut them some slack - any big roll out is likely to have start-up issues. But this 'open it up to everyone (and every reporter and insurance agent and curious bystander) at once' seems just plain incompetent. Or, if that was something required by law, they needed to be ready for that.

It's one thing when the private sector screws up, we can move to their competitor. But this is one of the things that gets many of us worked up - when the govt controls something, and it is a mandate, and they screw up, what is our option?

I like having options.

-ERD50
Bitch, bitch, bitch. After being an unwilling beta tester for every damn Microsoft product I have used for the last 20 years or so, I think we can all be a touch patient with this rollout, especially considering the fact that nobody can even get covered until 1/1. I can't even get the Colorado site to load and I am entirely unsurprised. In a week or two I will try again, no biggie.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:55 PM   #31
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For the late night folks in California, the CoveredCa.com site is doing a scheduled shutdown from 9:00 PM until the wee hours to do post-day 1 tweaking. Back in the morning for everyone to hammer on it...
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:04 AM   #32
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+1
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:16 AM   #33
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brewer12345

+1
+1 Keep in mind, the only thing a staggered rollout would have slow tested is the Federally managed exchanges. The state exchanges were built by the states so DC's would not have helped Maryland and so forth. There are a couple of months to work out the glitches. I think it was better to go with it and force the start. Glitches in a few "test" states would merely have provided more BS excuses to postpone stop the underlying program in an effort to kill it.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:20 AM   #34
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Even the insurers are struggling, and they have much less to deal with. Florida BCBS website is offering 2014 plans but is hanging and can't get to the pricing section.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:27 AM   #35
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Grand Theft Auto V also went live Oct 1. They sold 15 million copies of GTA V so far and they estimate 3 million people logged in the first day. I.E. GTA more popular than ACA. GTA's publisher Rockstar games also didn't have a lot of experience with online games. They also had server problems and are scrambling to upgrade However, it is a lot more complex software engineering task to let people play a game multiplayer, than fill out some forms and perform a simple calculations.

Needless to say Rockstar has few hundred employees vs tens of thousand of IT guys working for State and Federals government.

What bothers more more than server load issues is the lack of functionality. From what I can tell looking at both the HI and CA exchanges and reading the WSJ coverage there is no way of submitting the subsidy form electronic. You have to print it and mail it. If they have not been able to accomplish that task in in a couple of year what makes us think there going to do it in a couple of months?
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:32 AM   #36
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Well.....yesterday evening was interesting.

Rather than use the exchange, I called the 800 number and spoke with someone. The phone was answered within about 10 seconds and the young lady I spoke with was both pleasant and outwardly friendly.

She offered to take care do the sign up process for me which involved giving her all of the information that would normally be placed on the website, process took about 20 minutes or so. At the end, she asked me to hold so that she could take the information to a supervisor for approval to sign up.

She left for a while, came back three separate times to let me know she was still working on it (very customer service friendly). Finally she returned to tell me that my information had been entered into the system and that I could expect an email with details as to my next step.

I asked what kind of next step and whether she had a ballpark idea of when the email would arrive.

"Well, you'll need to review all of your information that has been provided and you will need to provide proof of identity. Once you do that, you'll be able to see what plans are available and what possible assistance you may receive in helping with your premiums."

So ... I asked how I verified identity and she said there are a number of different ways and that would be explained in the email.

OK, I though, I figured I'd at least gotten into the system so I asked again about the time frame for the email. The young lady asked me to hold, that she would look up the time, came back in about 3 minutes to say that she'd spoken with her supervisor and that they have no time frame for notification, that they are very back logged but would be working as hard as they can. Asked whether It could be a day, a week, or a month, she said, very nicely, "sir, I have no time estimate at all. Every application needs to be reviewed for accuracy before we can go to the next step and, right now, we are just gathering information for people. However, you are welcome to call us any time if you have any other questions as we are offering extended hours during the initial enrollment process."

I finished by saying "so you've really no idea what the next process will review, since that part is out of your area, right?"

"Yes sir, I'm sorry, I wish I could give you more answers."

So ........will wait to see what happens.

Interesting, if nothing else!
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:07 AM   #37
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So ........will wait to see what happens.

Interesting, if nothing else!
Still, it sounds like you got further along in the process than almost anybody so far that I have heard about. Congratulations on that!

It was interesting to read about your experiences in dealing with this brand new, huge system. I am sure that as time passes, the website will improve and things will get smoother.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:15 AM   #38
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Its pretty obvious to me that they overpromised and underdelivered. What would one expect of a government operation!

Anyhow, I'm not even going to waste my time trying to apply for a month or so and let things get sorted out. I have better things to do.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:53 AM   #39
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The IT project from hell.

Millions of moving parts all provided by the lowest bidders
sheez!

I'm a FIREd Linux/Apache/WebLogic/Java/Oracle geek. Has anyone heard the skinny on what the technology stack is behind the ACA internet app?

zedd
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:11 AM   #40
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Has anyone heard the skinny on what the technology stack is behind the ACA internet app?

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