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Busted State Obamacare Websites Haven’t Caught Up to Healthcare.gov

Kelli Cauley (left) a worker with Kentucky's health insurance exchange, helps Paul Coomer apply for insurance at a public library in La Grange, Kentucky on Oct. 21 2013
Kelli Cauley (left) a worker with Kentucky's health insurance exchange, helps Paul Coomer apply for insurance at a public library in La Grange, Kentucky on Oct. 21 2013Photograph by Luke Sharrett/The New York Times via Redux

Last fall, when healthcare.gov was all but useless for two months, a handful of states that decided to build their own Obamacare enrollment websites grappled with their own problems. Home-grown exchanges in such places as Kentucky and California worked relatively smoothly, but in other states, including Oregon and Maryland, the insurance portals looked as bad as healthcare.gov, or worse.

The federal site has been in better shape since its Dec. 1 reboot. The same can’t be said for some of the states trying to repair their own malfunctioning sites. Cover Oregon has resorted to an analog solution, taking applications offline with paper applications. (A beta site that brokers can use opened Feb. 18 to mixed reviews.) The exchanges in Maryland and in Massachusetts—the state that was the model for the Affordable Care Act’s reform—have also been plagued with problems.