Last-minute software glitches hit Obamacare launch

Less than two weeks before going live, the federal government's health care exchange is miscalculating prices.

By Aimee Picchi Sep 20, 2013 10:54AM

Frustrated woman looking at computer (© Jose Luis Pelaez/Getty Images/Getty Images)Obamacare is facing an uphill battle on many fronts, ranging from skeptical consumers to more than a dozen states rebelling against the law's Medicaid expansion.

But now, another obstacle is threatening the Affordable Care Act's effectiveness, and it comes from the federal government itself: Software glitches are creating incorrect coverage pricing, reports The Wall Street Journal. 

The problems affect the government's insurance marketplace, which consumers in 36 states will use to buy health coverage starting on Oct. 1. 

The states partaking in the federal exchange include some of the country's most populous, including Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Others, such as New York and California, have created their own state-run exchanges. 

Despite the glitches, the Obama administration told The Journal the rollout will go ahead on Oct. 1 as scheduled. The article didn't detail the types of miscalculations bedeviling the system now.

But the problems could lead to setbacks for the health care insurance overhaul, if they aren't ironed out soon. The exchanges are designed to help provide insurance to the 32 million uninsured people who live in the states where the federal software will be used.  

Consumers will be able to sign up for insurance offline, in case the software is still balky at the start of the signup period, The Journal notes. 

How the law will affect pricing for individuals is still largely unknown, although a recent study indicates that insurance costs will vary widely depending on where enrollees live. 

A 40-year-old single man living in Burlington, Vt., for example, would shell out $413 per month for the second-lowest-cost "silver" plan, or about 70% more than what he would pay if he lived in Washington, D.C., according to a study earlier this month from the Kaiser Family Foundation. 

Large companies are worried about the law's cost, given that any employer with more than 50 workers must provide health coverage, or pay a fine. 

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi.

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Sep 20, 2013 12:41PM
It has been clear to most of us for a long time that our government can't actually do math. Did this surprise you? They must be expecting to see the numbers that were quoted when they were trying to sell the plan to their American subjects. Now they see the real numbers and they are nothing like what was promised. Sorry folks that is what you get when you believe politicians campaign promises. Haven't you learned yet, GITMO is still open, troops are still at war, health care isn't going to be cheaper, you still don't have a job, and if you do your pay isn't going up, only your taxes are doing that. Did you really believe the "change" was going to happen? It is OK you are young and have time to learn and vote differently next time.
Sep 20, 2013 11:37AM



 the govt cant even get this thingstarted.  just imagine when they try to actually run it.


you voted for it america.  enjoy it

Sep 20, 2013 11:36AM
The glitches go well beyond the software.
Sep 20, 2013 11:32AM
This is just the beginning - there will be plenty more "glitches" to come.  Just better hope you don't run into one of them when your life depends on it.
Sep 20, 2013 12:27PM

there have been more negative articlesconcerning obamacare on this liberal leaning website then positve ones.


why is that?  because not even liberals are able to find positive stories about obamacare no matter how hard they try.


there is nothing positive about it, otherwise there would be tons of reports on it.


obamacare is a train wreck.


enjoy your higher taxes middle class

Sep 20, 2013 11:26AM
Oh really?  Big surprise! Another government glitch..... I never had a software glitch affect my private insurance. 

Why does Michelle always take the top?  Because Obama can only screw UP...
Sep 20, 2013 12:37PM
Folks, This pink elephant is blowing up right in front of your eyes!  Obamacare is a terrible program that was Rammed right up our nose and we Americans do not like it!  Obama stated yu could keep your insurance and that was lie number one of many!
Sep 20, 2013 11:52AM
I hope hackers everywhere ATTACK the exchanges and shut them down.  Citizens should refuse to trust these 'exchanges' .  They should refuse to sign up...

Sep 20, 2013 1:41PM

I imagine it would be very difficult to program something if you don't know what's in it, so what can be expected? Glitches--lots and lots of them. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm dead of old age before this mess is straightened out, if ever it is.

Sep 20, 2013 11:42AM
Well Aimee what did you expect? Did you think your hero would get it right?
Sep 20, 2013 3:19PM
$400 a month for a single person?  I can do the math - if you earn $48,000 a year, that's 10% of your income before taxes.  If you have a family, it's even worse.  Sounds like a swell plan ....  can't wait to start paying through the nose.  What do you think is going to happen when you show up at the emergency room with your ACA health insurance card?  Good luck to you!
Sep 20, 2013 1:04PM
These are most likely the same computers they use to arrive at all the unemployment reports and financial results too.......... those POS computers have been broken for a while as well and giving false information.
Sep 20, 2013 3:28PM
Is this the same software they used to calculate the results of the last presidential election? 
Sep 20, 2013 4:23PM

Does anybody with any common sense at all really believe that the Federal Government will be able to run the nation's health care?  If you do, well then I have some prime ocean front property in Arizona I think you might be interested in.  Do you hear George Strait signing???

Somebody please, let's vote all of these clowns out of office (both parties) and elect some average everyday people with a little common sense.  We CANNOT MAKE IT ANY WORSE.

Let's see: unemployment (the real number) around 17%, war still going on, only part time jobs available (at very low wages), taxes going up (wait to you see the taxes Obozzocare will bring about), salaries NOT going up, price of gas-up, food-up, heck even stamps are about to go up again, electric bill-up, cable bill-up.  Somebody, ANYBODY please tell me when things will begin to get BETTER!!

Just saying....
Sep 20, 2013 4:20PM

I am an insurance broker. For me to provide help to individuals and small businesses in the Marketplace I had to be certified to do so (Affordable Care Act). I did that. At that point CMS has software that is suppose to verify that I am who I say that I am etc.

Registration Process for Agents & Brokers has Two parts.

Long story short part Two will not let me login to complete the process. I have tried to log in everyday 10-15 times. I get an Error message every time. I have called the Exchange Operations Service Center 3 times to date and the answer is " We know we have a problem." Oct 1, 2014 this thing is suppose to launch. What gives?

It would not be so bad but I have lost already lost thousands of dollars due to the MLR guidelines forcing the Health Insurance companies to adjust commissions, plus the Health Insurance companies have to pay billions of dollars for this to work. The insurance companies don't have much of a chose put to pass all of this on to the consumer if they want to stay in business. Free or Cheap I don't think so. I have multiple individuals that are depending on me to help them and I can't get CMS to fix a Login problem. Amazing.

Sep 20, 2013 3:58PM
Just wait til the hackers get a hold of this train-wreck...hahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!
Sep 20, 2013 3:46PM

Software requires a project plan.

A project plan requires project requirements.

Project requirements requires knowledgeable solution architects.

Program requirements are the result of users who understand the needs of the business.

A business needs to define it's need for improvement and potential ROI


Nuff said. 

Sep 20, 2013 4:07PM

Another great copy and paste article then top it off with Amiee's left wing agenda = MSN


BTW - If you live in DC you most likely work for BIGOVERNMENT & get a 70% subsidy for your healthcare.

Sep 20, 2013 10:32PM
My current insurance, through my wife's place of employment, costs us $40.00 a week. Our combined income is $50,000.00 a year. We will be paying MUCH more a year now. We've just been notified that her employer will no longer be carrying insurance.

Thank you, Mr. President. We're screwed.
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