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California Exchanges Web Site Not Ready for Prime Time
Old 10-01-2013, 11:24 AM   #1
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California Exchanges Web Site Not Ready for Prime Time

I was eager to sign up for our Obamacare coverage, and started today. But the web site (coveredca.com), has a lot of problems, and is really, really slow. Not surprising, but it's best to wait awhile.

You'd think they'd get some good web designers in there. Instead, they've incorporated all the problems of other web pages. For example:

1. When you enter your SSN or phone, you cannot include dashes. It would be easy for the computer to remove dashes, but apparently that was too hard.

2. When I enter my address it tells me that it's different from what's on file.

I entered:

100 Street Name Dr.

It has on file:

100 Street Name, Dr.

Do I not rock the boat and go with the one on file??

3. The passwords are restricted in which characters are allowed, so that my standard password system does not work.

4. You must enter no less that five security questions -- things like "What was the year of your best sports moment?" and "If you were to choose a new first name, what would it be?"

5. The delay is several minutes for some pages.

6. The "Apply" option is grayed out for no known reason.

7. If I go to my account page, it looks like this:





But, it will be worth the hassle to save so much money.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:49 AM   #2
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Hi Al,

I'm in Ohio and haven't been able to login all day. I'm patient and I know this is all new and probably getting slammed.

When I get in I'm wondering if I should enter DH first since his SSN is the first one on our tax returns or if I should enter myself first since I need insurance for me but he's a maybe. I want to experiment with different scenarios and plans. I registered ahead of time and have a confirmed login created in my name, not DHs.

So far, all I get is a blank page at www.healthcare.gov after I login. The address is https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/auth/userprofile so I assume it's just overwhelmed right now.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:00 PM   #3
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There are reports of DDOS attacks on ACA web sites.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:39 PM   #4
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Probably have to wait for the media to stop hitting the servers.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:42 PM   #5
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I am in Virginia and have tried twice to open an account but I keep getting the message that the system is down. Has anybody been able to sign up so far? I am beginning to get suspicious that those who want this to fail is attacking the website.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:57 PM   #6
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There are sacks of similar reports across the country here's a typical example: Heavy traffic hits health care exchange websites on first day - chicagotribune.com

I'd wait a day or two and try again.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:04 PM   #7
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Here is the error that I am getting on the Oregon website.

"Whoops, looks like something went wrong."
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:47 PM   #8
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Patience.

My issue is that I want to shop in more than one state but the assumption is that you apply and then shop. Well, I don't know where I will want to apply until I know what is available.

I am going to do nothing for a couple of weeks.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:48 PM   #9
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The sites are all seeing a ridiculous amount of traffic today, between shoppers, the curious, and others. Healthcare.gov had already logged over a million unique visitors by noon (EDT).

Remember, none of the policies you can buy through the exchanges take effect until January 1, 2014. There's plenty of time. Give them a few days for the lookie-lous to get bored and the network managers to get their junk traffic filters tuned.

What we are seeing is not at all uncommon when rolling out a new website or online product. My former employer had their web site get slammed periodically with this sort of thing. (On the day of a new software release recently, their site accounted for 9% of global internet traffic that day. We're talking zetabytes of traffic. Yes, they bought insane server capacity to cover the load, including space on caching servers within a bunch of internet provider networks, something not an option when dealing with medical or tax return data.)

I need to get new coverage through coveredca.com but will wait until November. No rush. They won't run out of policies. Really.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:58 PM   #10
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No matter when we get the policy, today, next week or even next month, none will be effective before Jan 1. The phrase "hurry up and wait" comes to mind.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:30 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
....They won't run out of policies. Really.
I love this. It should be on any individual state's website as well as the federal one: "We won't run out of policies. Really."
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:56 PM   #12
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It's really much worse than I thought. I guess I will just wait awhile. Some of the problems aren't related to overloading. For example, I was able to create an account, but there is no place to log in:



If I select Shop and Compare, there's a sign in option, but that opens this:



which is not appropriate for the account I created (with a user name and password).

So, yeah, I'll give it a few days.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:28 AM   #13
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Oh you are so lucky (Que Four Yorkshiremen) you can get pricing info on the CA exchange and actually fill out an application. Here in paradise we have no pricing, no info about the plans. You can fill out a form to have somebody get back to you in the future. (The form application perform no error checking). To actually apply for a subsidy you are direct to Hawaiibenefits.gov. There you can find a PDF form which you can print out, fill out by hand and mail to some agency.

If the CA exchange is in in Early Beta, the Hawaii exchange is in pre alpha.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:24 AM   #14
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I was watching CNN and their " doctor reporter" stated that 6 out of 10 of the individuals buying into the exchange will be paying around 100 dollars a month for coverage. With those rates, I'm not so sure that they won't run out of policies. If not this year, then next.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatordoc50 View Post
I was watching CNN and their " doctor reporter" stated that 6 out of 10 of the individuals buying into the exchange will be paying around 100 dollars a month for coverage. With those rates, I'm not so sure that they won't run out of policies. If not this year, then next.
Already priced in.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:20 AM   #16
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Quick check this morning, and it is working and pretty snappily.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
You'd think they'd get some good web designers in there. Instead, they've incorporated all the problems of other web pages. For example:

1. When you enter your SSN or phone, you cannot include dashes. It would be easy for the computer to remove dashes, but apparently that was too hard.
...
General web site comment:

I'd love to hear from any web designers on this. This kind of thing drives me nuts. It's the same with phone numbers, and CC numbers. I've actually been on some sites that don't show you what format they want the phone number in, until you enter it 'wrong', and then you get an error page that tells you to enter it as follows:

(AAA)EEE-XXXX

Phone numbers and SSNs are only numbers. Isn't it easier for the programmer to just strip any non-numeric from the input and accept it? I'm pretty sure that is only one command, something like INPUT(1234567890)? Isn't that easier than writing a separate error handling routine for this? CC numbers are kinda hard to enter and keep straight w/o spaces or dashes to help make sure you got it right. Just throw out the spaces and dashes.

What are(n't?) they thinking?

-ERD50
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:40 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Gatordoc50 View Post
I was watching CNN and their " doctor reporter" stated that 6 out of 10 of the individuals buying into the exchange will be paying around 100 dollars a month for coverage. With those rates, I'm not so sure that they won't run out of policies. If not this year, then next.
I think this explains the overloading of the web sites.

Personally, I knew there was no rush to apply and it would be better to wait for the kinks to be worked out, but if your premiums were going to go from $900 to $29, wouldn't you want to sign up as soon as possible?
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:12 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by donheff
Already priced in.
That would be amazing if the insurance companies were spot on in their pricing.
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:53 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl

I think this explains the overloading of the web sites.

Personally, I knew there was no rush to apply and it would be better to wait for the kinks to be worked out, but if your premiums were going to go from $900 to $29, wouldn't you want to sign up as soon as possible?
Yes I would. Hell, if I could get anything for 29 dollars a month I'd sign up.
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