The New Year is upon us and many of us are counting down —three, two, one — Obamacare! Yes, the Affordable Care Act is finally within reach, and 2014 will be a milestone year for the heavily disputed statute signed into law by President Obama way back in the spring of 2010. This past year when enrollment began, it took a turn down a very bumpy road. The sign-up site was a disaster. Google, Red Hat, and Oracle (News - Alert) had to come to the rescue to help smooth out its wonky technical glitches that were preventing people from enrolling — and the problems may not be over.
Starting January 1, those who signed up for the Affordable Care Act by December 24 will have coverage. Or so they hope. Those who enrolled via Healthcare.gov — the famously flawed federal site — will have to cross their fingers that their registration was validated. The administration claims that they resolved all the issues botching the official Obamacare portal, but this is of little assurance to many enrollees. According to a number of news sources, up to one-third of the 149,000 people "successfully" signed up for Obamacare — 44,700 people — may not have health insurance after all come Jan. 1, despite the fact that HealthCare.gov accepted their applications and confirmed coverage.
Then there's the problem people such as Shannon Wendt of Grand Rapids, Mich., are having. Wendt has been trying to sign up for Obamacare since it the enrollment service premiered in October. As of the Christmas Eve deadline, she was still unable to sign up. Wendt didn't just find trouble with the site, she found trouble with the customer service reps who were supposed to be navigating her through the process. They were as lost as she, receiving error messages and dealing with their systems crashing. Wendt claims she spent nearly 15 hours on the phone. Brian Patrick, communications director for the congressman’s office, says he and his team are handling the issue so that Wendt will not be left in the cold.
So begins a most nervous start to the New Year.
Edited by Ryan Sartor