« Feds shift into overdrive to fix healthcare exchanges | Main | The soul of the new healthcare.gov »

Healthcare.gov call center reps say they can't access system, either


@patriciaborns  If you think creating an account on healthcare.gov is hard online, imagine the frustration of the government employees who were hired to help consumers do that and more.  

"In a hurry?" asks healthcare.gov at the "Please wait" page, suggesting you might want to call the toll-free help line 1-800-318-2596 instead. Since it's launch on Oct. 2, this Healthwatch reporter has. 

Many Floridians besides Healthwatch have reported the sticking point for enrolling on healthcare.gov has been the security questions they must answer to set up an account. The system returns an "invalid format" or "unable to set up account" message.

Near midnight on Oct. 3, after repeated failures, Healthwatch " connected with a chat agent on healthcare.gov who suggested trying when volume was lighter during "off hours." 

But, asked if it's possible to use the marketplace at any hour, a live healthcare.gov phone agent admitted, "Probably not." 

The agent said he was hired to work the night shift helping people create accounts, see if they qualify for a subsidy and enroll in a health plan --" everything up to paying for it, which for security purposes each person does on their own." 

But "No, I haven't enrolled anyone. I can't get to that part of the system," the agent said.

At mid-day Friday, Florida's marketplace is still balking at the security question point and a toll-free phone agent we spoke with said she can't access the system at this time. 

How are you doing out there, any luck? Tweet us @HeraldHealth.



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


They say 8 mil have visited the site. I think it is more like 100 who are like me and cant get in.....

Liz Keown

I am in Michigan and have been trying since 10/1. I was able to set up an account and fill out the application. That's been it for days! When I try to access my eligibility results it throws me out.

I did contact customer service and was told they could not access my results either.

Patricia Borns

Thanks, Liz. We heard a navigator in Michigan say they're using paper applications, the case in Florida, too. Healthcare.gov put up a new feature yesterday that will allow you to preview the plans in your state and county: see the post http://hrld.us/1g60wqI.
WSJ and other media outlets report the feds may be close to fixing the site so you can enroll.

Nicole Lyddy

I live in Wisconsin and have been trying to set up account since October 1st and still can't do it. After security questions it took about one minute and then said system unavailable.

Patricia Borns

Thanks, Nicole, same here. It looks like all of us on the federally-run health exchange are experiencing the same problem. Let us know when you break through.


I live in Michigan and have applied online; the app is completed but I guess I'm waiting for my eligibility; it's been two weeks. It says it's processing. I can look at plans but my subsidy is not in the price plans. Anyone else having the same problem?

A Christianson

I'm in Michigan and have the same problem - application is approved but can't "view eligibility".

Giving up

If you get to the "full time student" portion and you are unlucky enough to have one then forget about it. Forget about attempting to get help from the website or the 1800 number. Where did they hire these people and how can I feel safe giving all of my personal information to a guy that spells button as boton? Are they still in prison or where they just released?

Site Security Services Seattle, WA

Man, that's too bad to hear. You'd think that for such a big program they would have made sure that things were working a little better and that the system could handle the volume.


Im in michigan, been trying for a couple days now, the link to create an account wont work. Then i tried doing the live chat and just keep getting error messages. Finally called, and got told its my browser, not the site. Im using internet explorer..

The comments to this entry are closed.