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Affordable Care Act Website Challenges Continue

Posted: Oct 22, 2013 4:00 PM by Michael Doudna, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Oct 22, 2013 6:21 PM

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COLUMBIA - Problems persist for the website for the Affordable Care Act even after a technology update.

When the Affordable Health Care Act went into effect on October 1, problems with the website started immediately.

Since going into effect, the website has faced many complaints from around the country. Columbia has not been exempt from the problems.

According to Jeremy Milarsky, the Navigator Program Manager at Columbia-based Primaris, glitches with the system have hampered the program.

Primaris is one of two federally funded programs in Missouri whose purpose is to help clients understand their different health care options. Primaris has been unable to have a single client complete the entire process of signing up with the site.

"Unfortunately there have been some glitches with healthcare.gov, acknowledged by other people than me, the White House etc., which have made signing up very challenging," Milarsky said.

Milarsky says there have been improvements since the site went live. Patrons are now able to create an account, something they were unable to do during the site's first week.

Milarsky says the problem is with the website, not the product. He says the 1-800 number works well and demand is high, although he says the website is holding the program back.

"It's like a grocery store that has a lot of goods inside with a broken door. You don't think the store is bad, just the door."

President Obama said in a press conference Monday that high traffic has "aggravated" problems with the site.

Milarsky says traffic isn't the only issue.

"If it was all web traffic everyone would be stuck on the same screen," Milarsky said, but it isn't the only problem.

Despite all the problems, Milarsky says there has been considerable interest in the Affordable Care Act, and expects the issues to be resolved eventually.

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