Experts: Design Issue Behind Healthcare.Gov Glitches

WASHINGTON (October 8, 2013)—A design decision to require consumers to create online accounts before they can browse available health plans under President Barack Obama's insurance overhaul appears to have led to many of the program's technical problems, independent experts say.

Most e-commerce websites as well as Medicare's plan finder don't require those merely browsing to set up accounts, but it’s one of the first steps on healthcare.gov.

Consumers trying to create accounts multiplied the volume of online transactions that overwhelmed the website last week, causing long waits and frustration.

Reports of delays persisted Tuesday.

Allowing consumers to browse anonymously was one of the recommendations of Enroll UX 2014, a $3 million, 14-month project to design a prototype insurance marketplace site, but the Obama administration took another path.


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