Obamacare’s launch looked even worse from the inside

October 31, 2013

AFP PHOTO / Karen BLEIERKAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

Healthcare.gov had tallied exactly six successful enrollments by the morning of Oct. 2, new documents released by the House Oversight Committee show.

By the end of Oct. 2, the health law Web site that serves 36 states had received 248 insurance enrollments.

"6 enrollments/834s spread across 5 issuers," the notes from a morning meeting on Oct. 2 read. "No failures...Issuers include BCBS NC, BCBS Kansas City and CareSource. Healthcare Service Corporation had the 2 enrollments."

These notes, taken at meetings of the "war room" of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, suggest that the health law's rollout looked just as bad behind the scenes as it did to the public, where many struggled to purchase coverage -- or even get the site to load.

Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said that these notes were not official data on health law sign-ups, which is scheduled to be released later this month.

“These appear to be notes, they do not include official enrollment statistics," she said in a statement. "We will release enrollment statistics on a monthly basis after coordinating information from different sources such as paper, on-line, and call centers, verifying with insurers, and collecting data from states. As the Secretary said before Congress, we are focused on providing reliable and accurate information and we do not have that at this time due to the issues with 834 forms. We have always anticipated that the pace of enrollment will increase throughout the enrollment period.”

The meeting notes detail some of the challenges facing the health law Web site from the builders' perspective, including heavy volume and difficulty connecting to other computer systems.

"High capacity on the website, direct enrollment not working, VA system not connecting," the Oct. 2 notes read, under a category labeled "on-going issues." "Experian creating confusion with credit check information, residency issue has a script being developed for the 900 issues that occurred and many agent-brokers have not signed up on EIDM."

The three meeting notes are below. First is the write-up of the meeting on the morning of Oct. 2.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/files/2013/10/10.2.2013-am.pdf

These are from that same afternoon, on Oct. 2.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/files/2013/10/10.2.2013-am.pdf

And last, these are meeting notes from the morning of Oct. 3.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/files/2013/10/10.3.2013-am.pdf

 

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Brad Plumer · October 31, 2013