Wednesday, October 23, 2013


At least one function of the Affordable Health Care website appears to be running smoothly.   The software designed to verify the identity of applicants passed several tests conducted by journalism students at Monmouth College.  Each student assumed a fictitious name and social security number to determine if the web site would allow the student to proceed with registration using the fictitious name.  The software in the web site succeeded in blocking the entry of students who could not be verified.   The attempts to test the system are described in the following reports..

·         In my first attempt at using a fictitious identity, I was able to create an account and proceed until the social security check kicked me out.  Apparently the Social Security numbers are being checked through Experian.  Experian is a credit checking bureau.  Then, I tried again with my personal information but was unable to create an account due an error in the system.  I was instructed by the site to try again .  Elisha French


·         The first time I tried creating a Marketplace Account, I used an alias name and a nonexistent email address to see how far I could get into the system. After clicking submit, I was told that my account could not be created at this time. I tried again using another false identity, but this time a real email address. I was able to get a little bit further this time and actually create a Marketplace Account. I was then asked to verify my identity. I gave a fictitious social security number, address, and telephone number. After clicking submit again, I was told that my account could not be created because my identity could not be verified. According to the website, I needed to review my information and try submitting my application again. Christiana Durante


·         To see how far I could get through the website, I created a fictitious person who would be applying for the health care insurance.  I also made an email account using that fictitious person’s name.  My attempt at applying for health care seemed positive at first.  The site asked to create an account with the health care site to have my own profile.  I filled out the boxes asking for the state I am from and the year I was born, and since I am posing as a nonexistent human being, I am a 33 year old from Kansas.  A link was sent to the email to verify the email account.  Upon clicking the link, a page came up that said the request was being processed and it may take a few moments.  It took more than a few moments.  Sitting patiently at the computer, I waited roughly 5 minutes before the email account was verified.  My profile page appeared once the system verified the email address.  This is when problems started to occur.  An error symbol popped up and the site told me that my identity was not verified.  I clicked on the link that said ‘please verify identity.’  Once I clicked that link, a page was brought indicating that the page did not exist.  The text read, “Sorry, we can’t find that page on”  There were no other options to go through and it seemed I had hit the end of the applying process with my fictitious person.  Reality struck, and with that my fictitious person was no longer going to be able to apply for heal insurance.  Gavin Bogan


·         I made two attempts to create an account on the healthcare website; both met with failure. For my first attempt I created a fictitious account with fictitious information. I was able to create an account but once I tried to log in the website did not allow me. I click on the option to send my email my username but an email was never sent. On my second attempt when I put my real information I didn’t even get as far as my fictitious account. Once I finished with creating the account I was shown this message “Important: Your account couldn’t be created at the time. The system is un Darnell McKissack



·         On my first attempt I used a fictitious name and false social security number and the website blocked me. On the second attempt I used my real name, birth date, address, and social security number and the page said error, “You must be 18 years of age to continue.” I put my birthdate which I was born in the year of 1992, so it shouldn’t have been an error for me being under age. To take the error away I put the year ending in 1991 and it went to the next page. Then on the very next page it asks me four questions to verify my identity and one of them asked me what year I was born in with 1992 being an option. It was confusing because when I tried to proceed to the next page using 1992 it gave me the error, but on the next page it asked me what year I was born with 1992 being an option. available” and I was given the option to “try again.”   Jose Aranda


·         I attempted to sign up for health care under a fictitious name to access the health care website. The first time I attempted to sign up for an account, there were errors on the page that prevented me from being able to fill out the registration form. I had to re-open the web page a few additional times until the errors finally disappeared. I was then able to make an account, along with a fictitious e-mail for the account fairly simply. After I made an account for the website, I began to fill out the application itself. I entered additional fictitious information including an address, a social security number, and a phone number. Once I filled out these components of the application, I was unable to go any further with the registration. I was told that I could not fully register for health insurance until my identity was verified. There was an option to return back to my application, or to call the Experian help desk to confirm my identity. I chose to return back to my application. I was unable to submit my application because I did not verify my identity. Kalin McKean


·         Although still in its infancy, the Obamacare website has plenty of glitches to work out. I tried to sign up for a fictitious account but didn't get far, as I entered a fictitious social security identification number. The website recognized the fictitious number and wouldn't allow me to sign up for the actual thing. To my dismay, I noticed early on that none of the information I typed in was saved in the beginning, when I was putting down my first and last name, state, and email address whenever I advanced and then clicked the back button to go back and correct something. This means that I had to re-type all the information again each time I went back and then retype the information in on the page I just went back from. So it was a process of constant typing. I contacted the online Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat for help, and told them about my problem, asking if the fact that the website didn't save the form data was "normal" for the site. The response I received was that the website was "experiencing some glitches due to high traffic." This may not be the actual case, as the person I was speaking to then said that "may be" the problem. I was then advised to try again in later during an off-peak hour. Heidi Niemann


·         After creating a fictitious name and email, I was allowed to start applying for health care. Although my identity was not verified, I was still allowed to fill out the application. Even after giving a fictitious social security number, I was never blocked from the website.  After filling out the application and submitting, I was returned to the verify my identity page.  Since I was unable to confirm my fictitious identity, I was no longer able to continue the process. Anthony Occhipinti


·         My first attempt to apply for health insurance online was unsuccessful. I created a fictitious name, but I created a real e-mail address to use. Upon logging in, the system said my username and/or password was incorrect. I thought that this was an error on my part, so I started over from the beginning, using a different alias, and a different real e-mail address. This attempt proved to be successful, and I got a little bit farther in the application process. In order to apply, the site wanted to verify my identity but having me put in my date of birth, social security number, address, zip code, and phone number. My information did not check out in the system, and the website suggested that I recheck my information and try again. I changed my date of birth around, and plugged in a different social security number, however the site would still not verify my information. It gave me numbers that I could call to assess the situation, or an address I could e-mail for help. Miranda Olander


·         For my first attempt I used a fictitious name and email address I was then asked to set up an account. After I tried to submit my username and password I was directed to a page that said “Your account couldn’t be created at this time. I tried this three other times also using a fictitious identity and I always got blocked at the same place as before. The system is unavailable.” For my second attempt I used my real name and email address and was blocked once again from going any further than my attempts before. Kali Nordeen


·         Applying for healthcare online is easier said than done. After several attempts to enter and navigate through The Health Insurance Marketplace (, I came to a dead end. My first attempt I tried creating an account under the name ‘Jessica Thompson’. I got as far as the site being able to send an email to my imaginary email account. That turned out to not be very beneficial because the email address wasn’t authentic. With my second attempt, I tried using the same name but under my actual email address and was blocked. The notice that appeared on the screen was indicating that the site was temporarily unavailable. I tried a third time and was hit with the same notice. After a fourth attempt with my actual name and email address I was able to log into the site. However, after being able to log into the site with my real information I decided not go any further in order to protect my identity and the health plan that I currently have.   Jaleesa Walker


·         In my attempt to create a fictitious account to access the healthcare website, I was blocked out after creating my account. I was told my login information was not valid. The healthcare company had emailed a confirmation of my account to the fictitious email I created. As I tried to access the fictitious Hotmail account I was blocked out, siting that the password had been entered incorrectly too many times. I then tried to login into my account on the healthcare website, which is when my login information was not valid. I then entered a live chat with an assistant named Charlotte. I told her I had just created a new account and asked her why I couldn’t log in. She said there are many people trying to access their website which causes glitches, and too be patient and keep trying. Knowing I wasn’t going to be allowed access anyway, I continued by asking her where else I could go to try and log into my account. She said I could call the toll free marketplace number, call in by phone to set up the insurance, or download the paper application. She then sent me the paper application and the toll free number. I thanked her for her time and signed out.  Cody Whiteside

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