The HealthCare.gov Web site where individuals can sign up for the new health insurance exchanges is already notorious for its technical failings.
In a blog post published on the hhs.gov Web site on October 20, the government explained the site's technical failures and solicited feedback in the comments section. While some commenters wrote in with technical suggestions or that they were able to use the Web site, the majority of the more than sixty pages of comments are filled with complaints.
Here is a selection of the comments that tell the story of the technical failings of HealthCare.gov - some indicative of frequent complaints and others documenting unique problems users have faced.
1. "Not unique"
Tom wrote on October 20:
I've been trying to create an account since program inception (October 1). I continually get a variety of crazy messages, the most recent being that I could not create an account because my first name, last name and email address are not unique! What the devil does that mean? Most people use their names in their email address, so it's never going to be "unique." I need health insurance for my 61-year-old wife and the Marketplace appears promising. Clean this mess up!
2. “They would prefer that people not attempt to enroll right now”
Chris wrote on October 23:
I tried to create an account twice this afternoon. Both times, after filling out pages of information, the system told me that my "account can't be created at this time." I decided to call the toll free number that was provided and the agent told me that the site doesn't work and they would prefer that people not attempt to enroll right now. If that is the case, why don't the website developers change the main landing page of www.healthcare.gov to advise people not to bother attempting to create an account because it won't work. HORRIBLE!!!! Three days ago I received a notice that my current healthcare plan isn't "compliant" with Obamacare regulations. The closest "compliant" plan will cost over $1,200 per month where my current plan only costs $409. I'm forced to pay for maternity coverage but my wife has had a hysterectomy and can no longer bear children. This is the most ridiculous infringement of our constitutional freedoms I've ever experienced. I never dreamed that America could come to this. Our president has hood-winked this country down a potentially irreversible path that will leave us in no better shape than Greece. God Bless America.
3. Identities cannot be verified
John Miller wrote on October 20:
Not good enough. It took me over 20 attempts get through to set up an account. Then I am told that my wife's and my identities can not be verified. When I try to log back in, I get a blank page. This is not only embarrassing it is sabotaging the program and lending credence to those that claim that anything run by the government is incompetent. CALL IN WHOEVER IT TAKES AND FIX THIS THING FAST!!!!!!!!
Denise explained on October 20:
I've been filling out the information and when I get to the page to sign and send it keeps telling me to wait 24 hours to come back later and thats been going on 7 days straight
5.Web page cannot be found
Susan wrote on October 23:
For 5 days now, I enter the user name and password, see a page that says "Authenticating. Please wait...", and then get an error message saying the Web page cannot be found. This is just the latest insult after weeks of waiting, entering and re-entering data only to be bumped off or see data disappear, and other frustrations. Just get the site working already.
6. "Ineligible due to current incarceration"
Fred explained his struggles on October 21:
Web site said my wife and I were ineligible due to current incarceration. We have never been arrested in our lives, both 63!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
7. Problems entering responses onto Web site:
Carol submitted this comment on October 20:
I have been trying to access my eligibility report for two days and I cannot get it to open. When I tried to get assistance from technical help, I could not respond to their questions because my response could not be typed in because the response block disappeared. I am using Mac Safari to do my application. Please help me. I am becoming very frustrated and I should have been able to complete this task in a few minutes....not days.
8. Answers to security questions cannot be the same:
Cal commented on October 21:
Since inception, I've been blocked from creating an account. I tried moments ago, (Oct 21, 2013 at 12:30 EST) and I yet again received "Please note that two or more answers to the security questions cannot be the same. You must provide distinct answers to the chosen security questions." I do not have two security questions the same. Let me repeat, I do not have two security questions the same. I have tried on three browsers, IE and Firefox included, so I know the problem is not at my end.