Here are five reasons why I’m pretty sure that the Healthcare.Gov website isn’t likely to be done by November 15, or at all, unless they just scrap it and start over (each based on my own painful experience):
1. The system still logs you out automatically every time you click on the “Learn” tab. Really? Have these folks never heard of sessions? The security is apparently good enough for everyone else. Not even other government sites inflict this kind of pain on users.
2. The system still sends you notifications about electronic messages that you cannot read. I apparently have multiple messages waiting for me in the “Healthcare.Gov Notification Center.” The only problem is that there is no Healthcare.Gov Notification Center . . . or any place to read your messages for that matter. I raised this issue with a Healthcare.Gov specialist over the phone, and he told me it was a known issue, and that if it wasn’t fixed by November 15, to give them a call and they would read my messages to me over the phone. Seriously?
3. The system is still littered with dead links. Even the “View Eligibility Results” button is a dead link. 100% dead. Has been for weeks (at least for me). Same issues with tons of other buttons, including the “Send This Information to Medicaid Button,” and, occasionally, the “Review and Submit Application Button.” The “Register to Vote” link is working, however. First things first!
4. No one seems to know what is going on. When I tried to get support using online chat, I was told to call telephone support. When I called telephone support, they couldn’t assist me because I had gotten too far in the process (i.e., I had been able to create an account). I was assigned a specialist who didn’t call me for two weeks, despite a next day appointment. I filled out an application over the phone that still hasn’t shown up on the website three weeks later, despite assurances that it was “in the system” and “linked to my account.”
5. At one point last week, the online system simultaneously told me that my application was incomplete, that my children were at the “Initial Enrollment” stage of Utah’s CHIP Program (which I never tried to sign up for), that I was not eligible for Medicaid, and that my detailed eligibility results were ready. Of course, I couldn’t verify any of this inconsistent state of affairs because none of the links worked. Now, I am apparently un-enrolled in CHIP, my application is still incomplete, and my eligibility results are still ready (but the button I’m supposed to click to get them doesn’t work).
Despite its many problems, I always thought that this website would be worked out. Maybe it still will be. But the more I interact with it, the more I’m becoming convinced that this is not going to work until the first attempt is scrapped and they start over.
It’s that bad.
I find it hard to fathom that our government is still using this nightmare to take people’s personal information (including my own!). It seems like a recipe for disaster, and a sure lawsuit. Political considerations aside, this whole thing should be shut down until it’s functioning on some basic level that can instill confidence in its users.