Obamacare has had a rough first week: technical glitches in the signup system and traffic overloads have prevented thousands of people from signing in to the system.Then again, maybe it’s a good thing that all those people couldn’t even load the web pages. NBC is now reporting that technical glitches in the software’s data collection has led to the corruption of much of the data entered by enrollees. As a result, one company found that only one out of every 100 applications has enough valid data to move forward in the enrollment process. This is a big problem, as it means that many people who think they’ve signed up for a plan actually have not:
That means the people in every batch who haven’t provided enough or correct information must be contacted for additional data to ensure they qualify for the insurance they want to buy, experts said. The federal exchange itself may have to seek that data from enrollees.And that extra work could significantly burden a system already bogged down by high numbers of people trying to view prices and enrollment forms on Healthcare.gov.
Early glitches were always to be expected, and as long as they are fixed quickly and thoroughly, the damage may be minimal. But first impressions count, and the repeated technical failures have created about as bad a first impression as one could have imagined. Obamacare could be in serious trouble unless its federal IT team steps up its game.