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NPR Health

3 Stories From HealthCare.gov Users

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

How has the effort to improve the website been going even before today's deadline? We decided to ask a few of our listeners.

KATIE MESSMER: Initially, it seemed pretty easy to start the application process, but I feel like I run into multiple hitches.

SIMON: That was Katie Messmer, an office manager from Brevard, North Carolina, on Wednesday.

MESSMER: When I asked for help, I wasn't given any clear instruction other than just to wait. And so when I waited and returned then I could go sort of to the next step until I hit the next glitch. And I feel like I'm in that cycle.

SIMON: But then there's Joylene Green, who runs her a private family therapy practice in Dalton, Georgia. She tried on Tuesday.

JOYLENE GREEN: It was my first time on the website, because I had been following it vaguely and hearing that it wasn't going well for people so I just put it off until I finally sat down on Tuesday and went for it, and it was a lot easier than I expected.

SIMON: She says she's been able to evaluate plans, and intends to try to buy coverage on Monday. And then there's Adonis Pointer. He's a social media manager in Kalamazoo, Michigan who knows how to handle tech challenges.

ADONIS PORTER: I tried to sign on right after it was announced and it was practically unusable at that time. Anything you did on the site would literally take four, five, six, seven minutes for it to process. Basically, I'd click on something, you know, go do something else, come back - oh, OK, it finally advanced. Now, let's do the next choice. Click - oh, I got to wait again.

SIMON: But he kept at it. And yesterday...

PORTER: The situation was much improved. The process was much smoother. You know, it had reasonable response times. I went through the whole process, got to the very, very end and it hung. It just will not let me complete the process, I mean, I'm literally at the very last step.

SIMON: Mr. Pointer plans on trying to take that step again. But this time he says he's going to set aside a few hours - just in case. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.