Like many Americans we used to have health insurance when I was working. We had good insurance too, thankfully. And it was there when we needed it. But then the recession hit.
When my last company went out of business, loss of insurance was one of the biggest hits we took. We couldn’t afford a lot of things, but insurance was the first to go. Paying for something you might need vs paying for something you need right now isn’t a big choice for people who are struggling.
So like 20 million Americans I went to find out what’s in it for us. Being a former IT geek who has worked in 3 of the top Fortune 100 companies, I understand working on a large scale. But what many people don’t understand is, there’s a big difference between a large scale and an overwhelming scale when it comes to application access and especially internet application access.
Even the largest online companies don’t produce the kind of traffic to new products or roll-outs in a single day or first week of access as the government’s HealthCare.gov has seen.
Finally today I finally heard someone try to explain the issue. White House senior communications adviser Tara McGuinness said “The overwhelming attention from millions of Americans checking out HealthCare.gov during the first few days is a good testament to the interest of Americans in new affordable health options.”.
Absolutely. It also tells me that there are millions of Americans who want HealthCare and couldn’t wait to get onto the site to find out what it can do for them. We have plenty of time to check it out, they say. Really? This is obviously said by people who already have health insurance. Because those of us who can’t afford it, don’t see it that way.
So like many people I went to the site and tried to create an account. To be honest, I’m still trying to figure out how some people are getting confused with the sign up. Ok, you click a button that says get started and you answer some questions. This is confusing? Maybe to people who don’t regularly use a computer. But to everyone else? Come on.
Now what I’m hearing and what I experienced seem to be the common problem. You enter your information to sign up and when you press the button to Create Account, most people receive this error message. This is letting you know the system is overloaded and cannot process your sign-up.
Now if you’re like me, you might ask “Well did it create my account or not?” My next step was to see if the account was created in the background and the system simply confused itself. The best way to find that out is to try to login with the id and password you tried to create. But you’re likely to get this message.
I tried the online help service, an online chat with a customer service rep. I only waited about 2 minutes before I had a Rep asking me what she could help me with. When I told her what had occurred, I also shared with her that I didn’t receive any kind of verification email. But that I had tried to create the account twice. That’s when she gave me some info that’s probably somewhat important for people to know. Because of the overload, the verification email may take up to 48 hours to be sent out to new users. Well that’s helpful to know.
The Census estimates that about 48 million Americans lacked coverage in 2012, or more than 15 percent of the population. U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park said the government expected HealthCare.gov to draw 50,000 to 60,000 simultaneous users, but instead it has drawn as many as 250,000 at a time since it launched Oct. 1.
So I’m trying to put forth my positive thoughts and exercise understanding for now. Be patient people.