Some Massachusetts residents found the Obamacare website wouldn't take no for an answer on whether they were prisoners, while North Carolina insurers feared the lax security of the website make their customers prone to fraudsters.
Cathey Park from Cambridge, Mass. shows the words "I Love Obamacare" on her cast for her broken wrist as she waits for President Barack Obama to speak at Boston's historic Faneuil Hall about the federal health care law, Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013. Faneuil Hall is where former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Obama's rival in the 2012 presidential election, signed the state's landmark health care law in 2006, with top Democrats standing by his side. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
The Boston Herald reported Friday on “infuriating computer flaws that cut off people with hyphenated names and force others to falsely say they are prison inmates or mental patients before they can finish their applications,” based on the newspaper's review.
The newspaper cited several examples, from a state that is fully cooperating with the Affordable Care Act implementation. Among these examples were”
South Boston resident Adam Romanow, who answered ‘No’ to a question asking if he’s currently incarcerated. “It immediately brought up, ‘We couldn’t electronically verify your incarceration status. Please submit proof of your incarceration.’” Romanow told the Herald. “It was crazy ... I’ve never had handcuffs on in my life.”
Another example was Nancy Wilde, who the paper said lived in a Boston suburb. She clicked “No” to the incarceration question on the website. She was then asked if she was locked up in a mental hospital or awaiting arraignment.
Two women posted to the Connector’s Facebook page that the site wouldn’t let them complete their applications because their last names are hyphenated. The Connector suggested one of them call customer service.
The problems for the North Carolina website are slight different, the state's top insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield told WNCN-TV in Charlotte. The biggest problem is only one person successfully used Healthcare.gov in the state to enroll in the new exchange, but that lone person hasn't paid, which means the application is incomplete.
Meanwhile in North Carolina, about 1,000 people filled out applications for the insurance as of Oct. 15.
The exchanges opened on Oct. 1.
Internal Blue Cross e-mails obtained by WNCN determined the system had too many glitches and opted not to upload data because it was afraid false information might enter its computer system.
The email shows that a scammer was using the insurers names to obtain personal information, with someone making calls claiming to be with the “National Health Care Registry” to falsely claim it was taking over healthcare reform contracts from the Blue Cross.
Blue Cross spokesman Lew Borman told WNCN-TV, “We’re hopeful that the issues can be resolved quickly so the Exchange will work seamlessly for our customers.”