20131013

Problem ID: 2207394471170708173
Entered by: Ben Simo
Is there a problem here?  

Healthcare.gov tells people to wait for email that was not sent

After several failed attempts to create an account at Healthcare.gov, I finally made it to the end of the process. It told me to check my email for instructions to get my username. I waited. I checked my email repeatedly. I received no email.

I then called their support line and was told that the system was under heavy load and I therefore needed to wait at least 3 days to receive an email.  Thinking that 3 days was a bit unreasonable when the user interface tells me it was already sent, I tried to create another account.

This time, I kept my browser's developer tools open so that I could monitor the requests and responses and I completed the account creation process. On the last step, I noticed a problem: The final request that submits all the data entered into the multi-page form fails. Most-likely, my data was not received and no email was sent.




That Status 500 in the image above indicates that a server-side (likely software) error occurred in the submission of the data I entered.

I tried again, and on each attempt, the site told me my data was received and an email sent when submitting the data failed.

Maybe I'm just too picky, but I expect information given to me in a software user interface to match reality. It seems that may not be a requirement at Healthcare.gov. This type of error wastes users' time, frustrates users, generates unnecessary support phone calls, and costs us taxpayers money.

  Edit

7 Comments:

October 15, 2013 at 1:06 PM  
Comment ID: 226070859555916120
Written by: Anonymous

Have you tried just calling in and giving a representative your information, that is, applying over the phone? I did that after I completed applications over two consecutive days (uploading identity verification documents as well). I was told after applying online that I would receive an email but never did. Now, I can't login to my profile, I just get kicked out with no message. The representatives say it should take about 3-6 weeks before I can shop online, it would be shorter if I apply online. I said I had gone through the process twice. Well, they can't tell if my online application or over-the-phone application is processing...Frustrating? You bet!

October 19, 2013 at 10:03 PM  
Comment ID: 4930963098971095624
Written by: Anonymous

I've been waiting for over two weeks for an email from the healthcare.gov technical staff that my identity verification has been approved. Every time I sign into my account I have the same notification message that my application status is in progress and identity verification pending verification review. I was successful in uploading my verification documents and still know email from them to let me know that my application is now finalized. There is not a way with this flawed system to delete an incomplete application and there is no link to send the tech support staff an email indicating any problems that one may have with their application. I had created my account back in the summer and on October 1, 2013 started my application process only to receive a message at the end of the process that my identity needed to be verified. If this is actually true, the system is supposed to generate a reference number so that you can call Experian and get identified through the process of verification. However, Experian is not being flagged by the healthcare system that a person has to be identified. I know this to be true because I spoke twice with CSR's at Experian who said if nothing comes up in their system they are not aware of a potential identity problem. Healthcare.gov can learn something about how a system is supposed to work if they would contact the developers of Facebook who have over a billion users around the world. They don't have all the problems that the government seems to have. My 2 cents worth.

November 23, 2013 at 3:37 PM  
Comment ID: 7571922469950702319
Written by: Anonymous

That is not how a website worked up to now, SLOPPY WORK NOW SEEMS TO BE THE NORM ACCORDING TO THE GOVERNMENT.

December 18, 2013 at 11:42 AM  
Comment ID: 524913740967823246
Written by: Anonymous

Just reading over the above 3 comments and I am absolutely certain the first one is mine! On or about December 3rd, 2 months and a 2 days after the opening of the healthcare.gov site, I was able to finally not only log in to my site (a rep finally suggested to me to try changing my password! after w months!) but I was able to shop. I still comparing plans and yes, they are higher than I expected, even with a tax credit. It is great that healthcare is now available to folks with pre-existing conditions and others but still, the price of healthcare is sky-high!

November 11, 2015 at 9:42 AM  
Comment ID: 7482086734711402712
Written by: Anonymous

Just set up an account on healthcare.gov and was told an email was sent with an email verification link in it. I never received that email but did get another on welcoming me to the site with a link to login and shop for insurance. When i try to log in the site tells me that my email was not verified and I need to click on the link in the email they sent (which they never did). I tried changing my password, which i was able to do and I tried having the site send me my account user name (my email address) which I was also able to do. I still cannot login. I then tried calling the phone number and the person on the other end found my account and was willing to help me 'shop' but could NOT set the system so I could log in. After going around and around with this 'support' person it was clear that she had NO clue how to send a second email for verification (I asked her to do that). There is NO link on the site to cause a second verification email to be sent (unlike ANY other site I have ever been on). It is clear that who ever designed this site did not think about the fact that NOT all emails go through and thus did NOT test for a failed send. VERY POOR design and testing. I have been in the computer business (programmer) for over 30 years and if I wrote a program like this I would not have a job for long. I see NO way to ever log into this account ever again.

January 5, 2016 at 8:10 AM  
Comment ID: 5373378007033518952
Written by: visoundguy

I found this old thread from 2013. It's now Jan 2016 - and the problem still exists! I can't get registered because I'm not getting the email!! So much for Obummer care.

February 21, 2016 at 7:30 AM  
Comment ID: 5231566363674903631
Written by: Anonymous

Same/Similar issues here! I have had an account since 2013, and now I am unable to login, and I am not receiving the password reset emails. (I have my password, but it is no longer being accepted - so i thought I would try and reset it) There is no tech support to contact, only the reps who are not able to help with an account related issues - they just want me to sign up over the phone and ignore the "account situation". According to the reps, they are have no knowledge of any issues like this (which is true, they do not know anything) , and so it is my fault.

So anytime I need to make a change to my application, I have to call in, wait on hold (which has been over an hour at times), to take care of it. I have to mail in documents to verify my information, which no one can tell me have been received. This is quite crazy - I have a feeling that the admins are fully aware that many people are having the same issue, and in typical fashion instead of correcting the mistake it gets ignored.


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