CGI Group, the same company that designed healthcare.gov, the troubled federal site implementing the Affordable Health Care Act, designed the Massachusetts Health Connector site — and it is experiencing some of the same problems.
Bill Curtis, a technology expert from the firm CAST, says the code on the front end of the Massachusetts site is inefficient, which slows everything down.
“That’s not the way you would have found a front end being built by Amazon, eBay or Microsoft or Google," Curtis said. "Or any of the people who do this on a professional, day-by-day basis.”
On the Facebook page of the Massachusetts Health Care Connector, consumers complain about error messages, long waits, and frozen screens when they have tried to sign up for insurance. “I have spent six hours online," one woman wrote. Another man complained that he's tried to sign up five times.
Published reports say the state website has only managed to enroll slightly more than 1,000 people — just a sliver of the more than 100,000 whose health policies are being canceled.
Massachusetts officials have said they are fixing the problems. They also postponed the deadline for residents to sign up for a health insurance plan by three months to March 31, in line with the federal deadline.