Tags: Healthcare Reform | Obamacare | healthcare | marketplace | enrollment

Fewer Glitches This Time Around for Obamacare Enrollment

By    |   Monday, 17 Nov 2014 09:46 AM

There were still some glitches on the Obamacare website when open enrollment began over the weekend, but for the most part, this year's launch went much more smoothly than the site's 2013 debacle.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell told NBC's "Meet the Press" that 100,000 people were able to submit applications on Saturday alone, reports The New York Times.

Last year, when the site opened on Oct. 1, only six people were able to enroll online the first day, with an additional 246 the next day.

"The vast majority of people coming to the site were able to get on and do what they were intending to do," said Burwell.

The difference this time around is that the site is actually works, reports NPR. The site's load times have been substantially improved, allowing it to handle twice as much traffic as it did last year.

In addition, customers shopping for insurance can now browse plans and get their cost, and check their eligibility for tax credits.

The exchanges also went online about a week before the enrollment period so customers could browse the plans early, alleviating some of the site traffic on Saturday.

Burwell said about a half-million people logged onto HealthCare.gov Saturday, and insurance counselors and brokers said the applications went smoothly for new customers.

However, many people who had used the site before had problems unlocking their accounts and resetting passwords.

The problem likely happened because many returning customers didn't reset their passwords earlier this year when they needed to, HHS officials said. In addition, some customers did not recall their usernames, and in some cases, the insurance exchange call center did not record consumers' email addresses correctly when they called to ask for help.

There were also some users who tried to log in with their email addresses, when they may have initially registered with a username instead, HHS reports.

On Saturday, President Barack Obama said that the site "works really well now," The Times reports.

Obama also rejected comments made by Jonathan Gruber, a former administration adviser who has been called the "architect of Obamacare."

Gruber, in videotaped comments made last year, said Obamacare was passed, in part, because of the "stupidity of the American voter," and that the lack of transparency was a "huge political advantage."

"The fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is no reflection on the actual process that was run,” Obama said at a news conference in Brisbane, Australia, where he was attending a G20 world leaders' conference.

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There were still some glitches on the Obamacare website when open enrollment began over the weekend, but for the most part, this year's launch went much more smoothly than the site's 2013 debacle.
Obamacare, healthcare, marketplace, enrollment
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2014-46-17
Monday, 17 Nov 2014 09:46 AM
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