High Volume Hampers Health Insurance Launch

Many users face frustrating wait times.

October 01, 2013, 10:50 AM

Oct. 1, 2013— -- The launch of the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplaces may not have been hampered by the government shutdown, but a surge of Web traffic is leading to technical glitches on federal and state pages.

Viewers attempting to start the process at HealthCare.gov get a "please wait" message if they are from one of the 36 states that opted not to run their own exchanges.

"We have a lot of visitors on our site right now and we're working to make your experience here better," the site message reads. "Please wait here until we send you to the login page. Thanks for your patience!"

Read about 10 things you need to know about the health insurance exchanges today.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius warned Monday that "glitches" would be inevitable today, comparing it to Apple's latest software upgrade.

"No one is calling on Apple to not sell devices for a year, or to get out of the business because the whole thing is a failure," Sebelius said, referring to a move by Republicans in the House to postpone the implementation of Obamacare by a year. "Everybody just assumes, 'Well, there's a problem, they'll fix it, we'll move on.'"

The New York State of Health page, which launched today to handle exchanges, had a similar message, explaining that 2 million people visited the site within the first two hours of launch, causing bottlenecks.

"We encourage users who are unable to log in to come back to the site later when these issues will be resolved," a message at the top of the site said.

Health exchange websites in Vermont and Connecticut were slow to load, with error messages eventually appearing that the sites were not available. Browsers weren't able to connect to Washington state's health exchange website, either.

In Washington, D.C., the site loaded, but a message appeared at the top saying that ABCNews.com reporters were using the wrong browser, going on to list approved browsers, including Google Chrome. However, the reporters were using Chrome.

Kentucky's health exchange website was also experiencing log in issues, a message on the top of the page explained.

"Commonwealth of Kentucky citizens have shown tremendous response to KYNECT since we established our marketplace," it reads. "The KYNECT Website is currently experiencing log in issues and our technical team is working to resolve the problem."

Other state health care exchanges, including California, seem to be working normally.

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