Shoppers On Fed's Insurance Website Still Face Problems

News outlets report on the glitches still plaguing the website, healthcare.gov., in its second week of operation. White House officials say fixes are being made, although they have been unable to say how many consumers have enrolled in plans through the website.

The Washington Post: Many Remain Locked Out Of Federal Health-Care Web Site
Major insurers, state health-care officials and Democratic allies repeatedly warned the Obama administration in recent months that the new federal health-insurance exchange had significant problems, according to people familiar with the conversations. Despite those warnings and intense criticism from Republicans, the White House proceeded with an Oct. 1 launch (Eilperin, Goldstein and Somashekhar, 10/8).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: Inability To Browse Health Plans Without First Creating Accounts Seen As Adding To Online Woes
A decision by the Obama administration to require that consumers create online accounts before they can browse health overhaul insurance plans appears to have led to many of the glitches that have frustrated customers, independent experts say. Most e-commerce websites — as well as medicare.gov — are not designed to require those merely browsing to set up accounts. But it’s one of the first steps on healthcare.gov (10/8).

Politico: Once You Get Into ACA Website, It's Hard To Get Out
Once you finally make it into HealthCare.gov, it’s not clear how you get out. For those who’ve busted through glitches on the federal Obamacare insurance website to create an account, there’s no clear, obvious way for consumers to delete the accounts if they choose — at least not in the current incarnation (Millman and Cheney, 10/9).

Politico: With Obamacare Still Suffering Tech Issues, White House Hopes For Turnaround
A senior Obama administration official said Tuesday that several days of "hardware and software fixes" have put a turnaround in sight for Obamacare’s new enrollment system. But he gave no timeline for when users should expect a glitch-free experience on the HealthCare.gov website, which has been limping into its second week of technical failures (Norman, 10/9).

Health News Florida: ‘Working Around The Clock’
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who swooped into Tampa for a 90-minute visit on Tuesday, said "today is better than yesterday" for the still-balky Health Insurance Marketplace. Each day the online enrollment site, Healthcare.gov, will work better than the day before, she said (Gentry, 10/9).

Richmond Times Dispatch: Data On Early Health Plan Enrollments Elusive
A week after the launch of the federal Affordable Care Act marketplaces, it’s still not clear how many Virginians have been able to successfully enroll in a health plan. A spokesman for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield said the company has begun to receive federal confirmation of people enrolled in its HealthKeepers plans offered through the Virginia marketplace. But one of the key organizations employing workers to help people enroll in plans didn’t have any hard numbers (Smith, 10/9).

CQ HealthBeat: Insurers Keep Lips Zipped Amid Mounting Exchange Woes
Despite the myriad reports of malfunctions during the first week of enrollment in the health law exchanges, insurance industry executives — publicly at least — are keeping calm, carrying on, and shying away from criticizing the Obama administration (Reichard, 10/8).

CQ HealthBeat: Faltering Start To Health Exchanges Brings Louder Calls For Law's Delay
Consumers continue to have difficulty enrolling in the health care law’s federally administered insurance exchanges, as Republicans pressure the administration for hard figures and call for delaying part of the law. One week after the exchanges’ Oct. 1 opening, administration officials say the consumer experience is improving and wait times have been reduced (Ethridge, 10/8).

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