Friday, September 13, 2013

Part of Obamacare's Health Insurance Marketplace Taken Offline

    With the launch of the Obamacare Health Insurance Marketplace less than three weeks ago, one of the only functions consumers were already able to access, creating an account, has been taken "offline" for "upgrading."
    In 2010, after Obamacare was signed into law, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created Healthcare.gov, a website designated to answer questions about the new law and eventually serve as the portal for the new health insurance "marketplace" or "exchange" that are a fundamental part of Obamacare.  This summer, the website was relaunched in anticipation of the October 1 opening of the marketplace.  One of the feature added was the ability to create an account to prepare for the open enrollment period that begins at that date:

    However, the link provided now merely takes users back to the main page for individuals.  The reason for this is that on Wednesday, September 11, HHS took the "create an account" feature offline, as the website explains:

Creating an account and logging in: Temporarily off-line 
To get everything ready for Open Enrollment, we’re upgrading the Marketplace account service. You won’t be able to create an account or log in to one you’ve created until Tuesday, October 1.
If you’ve already created a Marketplace account, great! You’ll be able to log in again starting October 1 and start your application for coverage.
If you haven’t created a Marketplace account yet, that’s okay. You’ll be able to do that starting October 1 and get going on your application too.
     There have been reports of technical glitches, delays, and security concerns with the new Marketplaces.  It is unclear of this latest move by HHS is a reflection of those issues.

Note: A version of this article first appeared at The Weekly Standard.

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