Nearly a week after the launch of enrollment for insurance coverage through the federal Affordable Care Act, problems with the website persist.
On Friday, David Yoder, co-founder of locally based company American Exchange, whose leaders are helping residents nationwide connect with health insurance through marketplaces, said that working with Healthcare.gov was "absolute torture."
"It's slow, and times-out easily," he said via email. "However, it is getting better each day. Hopefully, within a week it will be running smoothly."
Yoder said American Exchange was working with paper applications for now, and that—aside from going through Healthcare.gov—there are only a few "web brokers" working through other sites. And those people were also experiencing problems connecting with the federal site.
Government leaders have outlined what they are doing to correct the issues, and members of the media have started to dissect the situtation.
Politico had an article about the administration acknowledging design problems with the website, and UPI spoke to officials who said that government leaders underestimated the amount of traffic the site would get.
USA Today reported that about 2.8 million people visited Healthcare.gov in the first 24 hours.
And more than 8 million people visited the website from Tuesday through Friday, UPI reported.
Government officials ultimately expect that about 7 million consumers will sign up for coverage through the site in 2014.
The federal site is for people in the 36 states—including Tennessee—whose leaders decided not to run their own marketplaces.
Many people haven't been able to log on to the site, others have complained that once they did log on—after hours of trying—they get an error message or a frozen screen.
The Washington Post talked to "a techie" about the details of the glitches. Click here to read that.
Officials said they based traffic estimates on the all-time high of 30,000 simultaneous users for Medicare.gov, which is a site where senior citizens can buy or renew drug prescription plans as part of Medicare D, also according to UPI.
But, David Brailer, former national coordinator of healthcare information technology, told UPI that—10 years ago—officials prepared that Medicaid site for 150,000 users.
Slate.com posted one woman's experience in using the live chat option on Healthcare.gov. Click here for that.
Officials with Healthcare.gov sent an email Friday acknowledging and apologizing for the issues. That email outlined the following steps leaders said they'd take to correct the problems:
— Get extra space for more users to get onto the system
— Get more technicians working around the clock to find problems and fix them
— Get more trained representatives ready to take your calls at our Marketplace toll-free number
— Find new pathways to get you to the application faster
"These improvements and others have cut the wait times by one-third, and more people are successfully applying and shopping in the Marketplace," according to the email.
The email also reminded people that they have six months to enroll.
Coverage starts as early as Jan. 1, 2014.
Click here to read five things you need to know about the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
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