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Data Glitches Probably Ruined Your Obamacare Application


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

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.

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  • cubanbob

    All the clever engineering in the world isn’t going to make this million ton brick fly.

    Another thing these geniuses didn’t take in to account is how do you test a rules based engine if all of the rules haven’t been established?

  • Boritz

    is it possible that data corrupted during this phase of sign-up will persist with a life of its own and affect claims made decades from now as the hapless insured attempts for years to get the misinformation corrected? On the bright side the corrupt data may be more beneficial to some insured than the correct answers.

  • USNK2

    Here’s hoping the Federal IT team is still fighting cyber-wars, because there is NO Federal IT team assigned to the PPACA exchange sign-up: every news report NOT cited by ViaMeadia says the PPACA portal, outsourced to Canada, is a complete failure.
    Why would anyone trust such a bad system with any personal data, which will only be used against the suckers who use it, assuming it can be fixed.
    The USA invented the computer, yet we outsource this to Canada? (no disrespect to Canada, at least it has a chance).
    Does the PACCA portal really need Facebook plug-ins?

  • Andrew Allison

    I’m shocked, shocked to learn that the this monstrosity is falling flat on its face.

  • Self Pay Patient

    I think they’ll eventually get the technical aspects ironed out, but that just means many people will more easily be able to find heath insurance at a price that is higher than what they’ve rejected in the past.

  • avery12

    America. WTH happened to us?!

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