Health Care Website Stumbles On Last Day Deadline - KMSP-TV

Health Care Website Stumbles On Last Day Deadline

Posted: Updated:

From Hal Eisner:

Since 4am lines snaked around the SEIU-UHW's Union Hall. All day people got help signing up for insurance. At 10:15pm: an announcement was made over a PA system telling people who have stood in line all night that they may not get help enrolling in the Affordable Healthcare Program before the midnight deadline. 

Sean Whirley, with SEIU, says there are just too many people to help by the midnight deadline. What happens at midnight? Says Whirley, "for those who have started the process they will have until April 15th to finish that process. Anyone who did not start, didn't even make an attempt to start, they will be subject to the fine which is either $95 or 1% of your income."

For those who started the process they have until April 15th to complete it. But, Whirley says, for those who couldn't apply for any valid reason there is still some hope. According to Whirley, "say you tried to log on and the site was down so, you tried to call in and the phones were jammed… If you then go to an insurance broker tomorrow and say ‘I tried they would then grant you that extension through April 15th."

 


 

(FOX 11 / AP) The Obama administration's health care website stumbled early Monday , falling out of service for nearly four hours on deadline day for sign-ups. After it was fixed, officials plowed ahead with a nationwide promotional drive, almost like getting out the vote on Election Day.

Early visitors to HealthCare.gov on Monday morning saw messages that the site was down for maintenance. At times the visitors were also directed to a virtual waiting room - a feature designed to ease the strain on the site during periods of heavy use.

Administration spokesman Aaron Albright said the website was brought back up shortly before 9 a.m., Eastern time. But people who missed their window sign up may still be able to take advantage of a grace period and other special extensions announced last week.

Albright said the site undergoes "regular nightly maintenance" during off-peak hours and that period was extended because of a "technical problem." He did not say what the problem was, but a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services called it "a software bug" unrelated to application volume.

Albright said consumers who left an email address would be "invited back" when the system got up and running again.

Officials said the website wasn't hacked. The site, which was receiving 1.5 million visitors a day last week, received about 1.7 million on Sunday. The federal site serves 36 states. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia are running their own sites, some of which have been crippled by technical problems.

Nonetheless, the administration and the states appear to be on track to sign-up about 6.5 million people for subsidized private health insurance through the new online markets. That's half way between a revised goal of 6 million and the original target of 7 million. The earlier goal was scaled back after the website's disastrous launch last fall, which kept it off-line during most of October.

It is unclear how many consumers who have signed up ultimately closed the deal by paying their first month's premium. Also unknown is how many were previously uninsured - the real test of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law.

Albright said Monday morning that the website is typically down for maintenance during the period from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. EDT, and that as a result of the technical problems the site was down for close to four additional hours before returning to full strength.

The sign-up website had been taken down briefly Friday, with consumer interest surging.

A recent analysis for The Associated Press by the performance-measurement firm Compuware found that the government site runs slow compared with health insurance industry peers.

With long lines reported at centers offering in-person assistance to enroll, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was leading the deadline day sign-up effort. Sebelius planned to spend much of the day Monday working out of the department's TV studio, conducting interviews by satellite with local media stations around the country.

Although March 31 was the last day officially to sign up, millions of people were potentially eligible for extensions granted by the administration for various reasons.

That includes consumers who had begun enrolling by the deadline but didn't finish, perhaps because of errors, missing information or website glitches. The government says it will accept paper applications until April 7 and take as much time as necessary to handle unfinished cases on HealthCare.gov. Rules may vary in states running their own insurance marketplaces.

The administration is also offering special extensions to make up for all sorts of problems that might have kept people from getting enrolled on time: Natural disasters. Domestic abuse. Website malfunctions. Errors by insurance companies. Mistakes by application counselors.

To seek a special enrollment period, contact the federal call center, at 1-855-889-4325, or the state marketplace and explain what happened. It's on the honor system. If the extension is approved, that brings another 60 days to enroll.

  • Health NewsMore>>

  • Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia: Breast Cancer & HIV Diagnosis

    Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia: Breast Cancer & HIV Diagnosis

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:52 AM EDT2014-07-21 15:52:53 GMT
    Many women diagnosed with breast cancer in recent years have chosen to have their other, "healthy" breast removed. Now, new research is suggesting there's very little benefit to having this procedure done.Also, lots of news surrounding this next topic…we're talking about HIV focusing on a drop in people being diagnosed by a third.
    Many women diagnosed with breast cancer in recent years have chosen to have their other, "healthy" breast removed. Now, new research is suggesting there's very little benefit to having this procedure done.Also, lots of news surrounding this next topic…we're talking about HIV focusing on a drop in people being diagnosed by a third.
  • Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia: Interrupted Sleep & Hot Flashes

    Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia: Interrupted Sleep & Hot Flashes

    Monday, July 14 2014 11:33 AM EDT2014-07-14 15:33:59 GMT
    We know not getting enough sleep is harmful to your health, but a new study says having interrupted sleep is just as bad? Also, there's no great cure for hot flashes, however a new study says losing weight may help?
    We know not getting enough sleep is harmful to your health, but a new study says having interrupted sleep is just as bad? Also, there's no great cure for hot flashes, however a new study says losing weight may help?
  • Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia: Sleep, Stem Cell Research & Pelvic Exams

    Dr. Sonu Ahluwalia: Sleep, Stem Cell Research & Pelvic Exams

    Monday, July 7 2014 11:32 AM EDT2014-07-07 15:32:56 GMT
    A couple of topics to discuss. First up, one so critical to so many of us....Sleep or lack thereof really affects cognitive skills. Also, early this year a big to-do about stem cell research...and now back tracking in a big way.
    A couple of topics to discuss. First up, one so critical to so many of us....Sleep or lack thereof really affects cognitive skills. Also, early this year a big to-do about stem cell research...and now back tracking in a big way.
  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Obama Prods GOP On Border Issue, Cites Progress

    Obama Prods GOP On Border Issue, Cites Progress

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:51 AM EDT2014-07-28 14:51:01 GMT
    With one week left before Congress' August recess, President Barack Obama is prodding Republicans to help ease the influx of minors and migrant families from Central America, but with chances dimming that border legislation will reach his desk before the break, he also is focusing on other ways to stem the flow.
    With one week left before Congress' August recess, President Barack Obama is prodding Republicans to help ease the influx of minors and migrant families from Central America, but with chances dimming that border legislation will reach his desk before the break, he also is focusing on other ways to stem the flow.
  • Israel’s Consul General David Siegel: "We Asked The UN To Work With Us"

    Israel’s Consul General David Siegel: "We Asked The UN To Work With Us"

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:43 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:43:27 GMT
    Today marks the 18th day of fighting between Israel and Gaza. Also today Israel’s security cabinet meets to consider international cease-fire proposals. Joining us to discuss the situation is Israel’s Consul General in Los Angeles, David Siegel.
    Today marks the 18th day of fighting between Israel and Gaza. Also today Israel’s security cabinet meets to consider international cease-fire proposals. Joining us to discuss the situation is Israel’s Consul General in Los Angeles, David Siegel.
  • Gang Violence, Fears For Children Fuel Immigrant Rush To US

    Gang Violence, Fears For Children Fuel Immigrant Rush To US

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:38:35 GMT
    Many immigrants flooding across the southern border of the U.S. say they're fleeing violent gangs in Central America.
    Many immigrants flooding across the southern border of the U.S. say they're fleeing violent gangs in Central America.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices