Reports Suggest Exchange Numbers Are Very Low

“Well, Facebook Wasn’t Built In a Day.” – Unnamed Exchange Developer.

More than 4.8 million users visited for the grand opening of the federal health insurance marketplace on Tuesday, according to officials.

It didn’t go quite as planners had hoped. In fact, if there was an unofficial word of the day, it was glitch.

Many users of reported long delays and difficulty accessing the federal insurance marketplace,  experiencing “glitches” ranging from error messages to blank pages.  The problems were repeated at state-run exchanges around the country to varying degree, from California to New York.

Pundits like Wonkblog’s Ezra Klein were quick to point out that the political victory the GOP might have gained from the uncertain start was largely lost in the uproar in Washington over the government shutdown, which dominated news reports.

At least one frustrated user chronicled the experience (see related post ‘Descent into Madness: One Man’s Visit to, October 1st ). Others took to Twitter to express their outrage or show off their savage or finely-tuned senses of humor.

Users of the federal exchange reported problems including error messages (see above), funky dropdown menu behavior, page freezes, blips, broken links and long page load times — generally either a sign of high volume or inelegantly designed databases.

HHS officials declined to reveal how many people signed up for new insurance plans overall, leading some theorists to speculate that not very many people were able to make it through the process successfully. In point of fact, there were suspiciously few reports of users successfully completing the registration process at all, probably not a very good sign and possibly an indication of a disaster.

The New York Times  interviewed a Wisconsin navigator who said their group was not able to successfully sign up any of the users they worked with.

The Washington Post talked with a West Virginia navigator who confirmed 2 sign ups.

It gets worse. Health plans selling insurance through the new federal site site said they were shocked by the low number. One was quoted by a Washington Post reporter:

“Very, very few people that we’re aware of have enrolled in the federal exchange,” said one insurance industry official, who like many in the industry, spoke on the condition of anonymity out of concern for possibly offending the Obama administration. “We are talking single digits.”

Some reports bordered on the comical.  The Post found a man who thought he had been able to sign up. It later turned out he hadn’t.

Another was happy he had least received a confirmation email informing him that his registration was successful.

Administration officials downplayed the problems and said the issues would be quickly resolved. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius noted that more than 110,000 callers were able to get through by telephone to the helpline. Of course, that could either be an indication of a well-designed and executed government call center strategy or an indication that all is not be well on the web site front.

How well did actually do? It will be some time before we know.

By way of comparison, officials said that more than 5.0 million people were able to visit the California exchange its first 24 hours of operation. Officials did not provide details on the number of Californians who were able to successfully sign up for health insurance.  Embarrassed California officials later retracted the number – saying the real number was a bit lower. Okay, a lot lower. More like 500,000.

New York said more than 2 million people were able to visit a New York State of Health before the site began slowing down.


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Job interview tips

For those who have managerial or supervisory experience, perhaps you are tempted to include testimonials totally from higherups. This really is outstanding advice, nevertheless you can take it farther by including comments out of your subordinates. Prepare for telephone interviews within the exact same fashion which you would face-to-face interviews. You should have the capacity to share your self in a span for several minutes, and describe how most useful you fit what they’re looking for. This may make it even more likely you will end up granted an interview, which may cause a job. It is something that you’ll… Read more »


HHS has drawn the red line of success at 7 million uninsured enrolling through public exchange in the first year with at least 2.7 million being the under 35 year olds that are currently uninsured. With an expanded first year enrollment window of 181 days, the quick math says an average of 38,674 uninsured must enroll every day with approximately 15,000 per day being uninsured under 35 years old. So to be on track, the public exchanges should have enrolled over 150,000 previously uninsured people by the end of today with at least 60,000 being previously uninsured under 35. It… Read more »

Exchange Envoy

What happens when all the people who sign up on the exchanges to receive the subsidies to offset the premium cost, stop or can’t pay their portion of the premiums? I don’t think the government knows the mess they are getting themselves into here. I guess the insurance company would have to cancel their policy and then we end up back where we started with ER’s full of people without insurance. I guess one solution could be that they will just push all the people who cant pay onto medicaid which will cost even more money and make more people… Read more »


Talked with some provider relations folks that believe doctors will be on the hook for up to 3 months worth of preauthorized procedures they perform for public exchange enrollee when it turns out the exchangee doesn’t pay their part of the premium. In other words, there will be up to a three month delay for the administration to inform the carriers and ultimately the providers that the exchangee did not pay their part of the premium and the policy lapsed. Doctor’s offices may want to establish an escrow account to deal with these unreimbursed costs. ‘I can’t be responsible for… Read more »


Do any of these bloggers know that people have almost three months to sign up for January 1, 2014 coverage. So whether they sign up today or they sign up November 16th , the coverage will still be effective the same day; 1/1/14


I wouldn’t expect people to buy on their first visit.
There has been very little information available, I imagine most were going on to see what’s being offered, how much it will cost them, etc….

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Obamacare is a very serious and sensitive issue for Americans, who have now been divided into gold, silver, bronze and platinium. Different level of premiums will give relief to all the insurance holder. In sincerity, providing insurance would be a burden for the government and the government shutting down is an indirect result of it.

Read more on:

It is a well written piece on Obamacare and Healthcare.Gov with all the repercussions described in detail.