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Old 10-02-2013, 10:05 AM   #41
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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!
Only the gubmint could come up with a design that makes you wait in line on the internet.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:23 AM   #42
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Yup, I know that one too well the 'technology soup' stack. Been there, got a nice tee shirt. Oh yea, I ERed, not going back.

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Old 10-02-2013, 10:25 AM   #43
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Only the gubmint could come up with a design that makes you wait in line on the internet.
At least some good elevator music should be provided during the waiting
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:11 AM   #44
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Only the gubmint could come up with a design that makes you wait in line on the internet.
Guess you've never bought tickets via Ticketmaster for a highly sought-after show.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:21 PM   #45
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Guess you've never bought tickets via Ticketmaster for a highly sought-after show.
+1
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:31 PM   #46
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Watch this space
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:40 PM   #47
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Watch this space
Why, is it a x'40' or x'20'? :-)

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Old 10-02-2013, 12:47 PM   #48
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Guess you've never bought tickets via Ticketmaster for a highly sought-after show.
THIS!

Behind the scenes, and under the covers, the web front end has to access a bunch of restricted sources over at the IRS, HHS, and a couple of others as part of processing applications. At the front end, the web servers need to access a fairly secure and robust database that will hold your account (name, password, and eventually credentialing certificates), which has to be rigged to avoid duplicate accounts and handle fraud auditing. This bit is similar to a credit card system's front end.

Now, for most web stuff where huge bursts of traffic can be expected, the implementation can be distributed. Apple, for example, will contract with various cloud services to put things like popular iTunes downloads and software releases on a huge number of machines spread all over the world. The actual contact with machines in Apple's own (huge) data centers is primarily credential checking and rerouting your request to the appropriate cloud service. When more activity is expected, Apple just contracts for more capacity for the anticipated high demand period.

This doesn't work so well for bits like IRS data and HHS or medical data. I doubt most of us would be happy knowing that our 2012 tax returns, Social Security, or Medicare/Medicaid data are replicated on hundreds of Microsoft Azure, Akamai, or Amazon cloud servers. I'm pretty sure that there are some fiddly legal things that might get in the way, too (HIPPA, for example). I suppose the government could just build out extra capacity, buying servers and other hardware to handle traffic peaks that appear to be some 50 times what will be needed for routine operation of the exchanges. That would be expensive, and possibly not the best use of your tax dollars.

There's no rush. We've got til December 15 to buy insurance that will be effective January 1, 2014, and until the end of March 2014 before the open enrollment period ends. I'm pretty sure that they won't run out of insurance policies to sell.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:20 PM   #49
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Well described M Paquette.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:22 PM   #50
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I think it's mostly volume related. I just tried during lunch and it went right in ( I had already created an account in August ). I put in all the information and got all the way to the end about 15 minutes I think. I got to where it was doing something call ID proofing and seemed to go offline at that point. Not sure if it was supposed to or not. It said something they would contact me when ID proofing was complete.

It was pretty easy to do if the system can handle the volume.

UPDATE: I just logged back in and it shows my app status as IN PROGRESS and has ID #.

As others have mentioned, no real rush. Things will improve as the curiosity wears off
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:54 PM   #51
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THIS!

Behind the scenes, and under the covers, the web front end has to access a bunch of restricted sources...
Great explanation, thanks.

As a low-level web developer, I do think, as someone else said somewhere, they could have saved themselves some headaches by putting the general I-just-want-a-basic-idea-of-what-it-will-cost stuff outside of the login flow. I totally understand the desire that's always there to capture as much user data as you can, but for at least the first few days, separate out the basic general info from the actual application process. But as long as it looks like the rollout glitches are getting fixed (and that volume was also playing a role), it's not that big a deal in the long run since, as everyone is saying, it's not like they'll run out of policies.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:22 PM   #52
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Great explanation, thanks.

As a low-level web developer, I do think, as someone else said somewhere, they could have saved themselves some headaches by putting the general I-just-want-a-basic-idea-of-what-it-will-cost stuff outside of the login flow.
Oh, absolutely. CoveredCA.com did some of that, and it is pretty fast to just take a peek at what is available.

Technically, there is a web site at the Federal level that will let you see the prices. It's a pain to use for different reasons (and seems to be missing today. Happy Shutdown!). The policies are all referenced by jargon, and an entirely different set of sites has to be referenced to see what the jargon means and how to map it to the policies.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:33 PM   #53
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If you chose/buy a HI policy for 2014 now, can you change it to something else if you want to between now and then end of December? If not, then why the rush?
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:31 PM   #54
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Also remember that when the law was passed, the general assumption was that most states would create and run their own exchanges (remember that one of the things many politicians talked about was how they didn't want the Federal government "taking over", so the state-run exchanges were included to give more individual state control). Then the governors of a lot of those states decided to let the Federal government run their exchanges because they didn't want to look like they were supporting it, or other reasons (it's been so long ago now that in many states people probably have no idea why their state didn't build their own exchange).

Having run large IT projects in my career (although nothing close to this large), I can tell you that building one system to handle 26 different states (each with their own rules about health insurance on top of the federal rules) is at least 10 times more complex and difficult than building 26 different systems. And some states didn't make up their minds until early this year. In some ways, it's a surprise that anything is working at all a day or two into this.

In a couple of weeks I expect that many of the kinks will be worked out and the "tire kickers" will have gone away, so things will start to go more normally. As much as I'm curious about what it looks like and other details, I'm resisting the temptation to go check it out so as not to add to the mess.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:16 PM   #55
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Noticed on our state's(OR) ACA website that if you put in 30k income only 28 silver plans show up. If you increase income 40k or greater 80 plans show up with catastrophic and bronze plans included.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:59 PM   #56
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Here in Ohio we are one of the states using the Federal site www.healthcare.gov

I can still only get as far as inputting my already established user name and password, then I only get a blank page (https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/auth/userprofile). If I leave the page open it eventually goes back to "We have many visitors, please stay here. We will send you to the login page...."

I'm certainly not ready to buy. I want to see all the options for Silver and Bronze plans and what insurance companies are included and what their networks are. I already know what our subsidy level will be.

We only have until 10/31/13 because that's when our open enrollment for DHs retiree plan ends. I don't want to opt-out of the retiree plan without having a solid understanding of our Obamacare options. DH's retiree plan is almost double the cost of what I expect our 2nd lowest Silver Plan will be based on the Kaiser calculator.

I'll continue to be patient. Tonight our Cleveland Indians play in a Wild Card game so I'll just leave the page open and see if I magically get some real info.
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:17 PM   #57
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Noticed on our state's(OR) ACA website that if you put in 30k income only 28 silver plans show up. If you increase income 40k or greater 80 plans show up with catastrophic and bronze plans included.
So if you have less income, they are forbidding you from buying some plans, or is it just a suggestion?
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:39 PM   #58
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Old 10-02-2013, 07:50 PM   #59
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:12 PM   #60
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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).
During the identity verification process, something like this happened to me although I never even got a chance to answer the questions! I have called SSA to make sure all my info is correct and I'm checking all my credit reports looking for anything odd. I did find that one of the bureaus had a Sr. added to my name.

I talked to several people at Equifax and to multiple people at Exchange Customer Service. One Equifax person searched the pile of errors using my name and one sheepishly asked for my SSN. Heck, y'all have had all my info for years. Why wouldn't I give you my SSN today?

I finally found an Exchange Customer Service rep who sounded older than 12 and who understood what had happened to me during the identity verification process that I was in limbo. She didn't know what to do about it (nor did her supervisor) so I was sent back to Equifax where I ended up talking to the guy who tried to find me using my SSN.

I have not yet read the entire thread so forgive me if this has already been discussed and hopefully resolved! My plan at this point is to call the Equifax number again in the morning and see if my info has been received by them from the Exchange.
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