Today is October 1, the first day that uninsured individuals are eligible to sign up for subsidized health care plans offered in each state under the new Affordable Care Act. There are almost 50 million Americans without health care, and others who need to sign up for the new plans because they are losing their old subsidized coverage. Apparently many of them tried to sign up on the first day.
Since midnight last night, when the site Healthcare.gov went live, there have been intermittent reports on Twitter of the site going down.
Users are experiencing glitches in site drop-down menus and problems creating accounts or accessing accounts they created earlier. In some states, including New York, Wisconsin, and Nebraska, health care marketplace websites have been reportedly malfunctioning as well.
Some glitches are to be expected in a rollout of this size. Previously software was blamed for a problem in determining exactly what people would have to pay for coverage. The malfunctioning of the official government sites unfortunately raises the possibility that more people will be confused by scam websites that sell overpriced insurance or phish for personal details.