Source: Deseret News.com
A Utah man said he accidentally stumbled upon a way to bypass a bug that’s been plaguing the Affordable Care Act website since it launched Oct. 1.
“I actually found this bug in the software where if you log in using a special kind of Web browser in a special mode, you can actually log in anytime,” Randall Bennett said. “This little bug that the government doesn’t really know about, it’s preventing millions of people from being able to log in.”
Bennett, an Ogden resident and founder of VideoPress, said during his attempts to log in he was directed to a white screen and couldn’t go forward in the enrollment process. “Because I’m a nerd, I was able to look into that a little bit,” he said. “I figured out this white screen was happening because the Web browser was sending the server some bad information…”
Bennett’s solution was to open a private window on his browser (also known as an “incognitio” window)
which allows users to browse the Internet without recording the website and download history. It also deletes cookies, or information storage, after a window is closed. “I was using it for debugging in my software to try something out, as if I were a fresh user,” he said.
Bennett said he happened to go back to http://healthcare.gov and logged in. The white screen then redirected him to the main page. Now he, his wife and 2-year-old son are ready for Jan. 1, when their new insurance will go into effect.
Bennett said before signing up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, he was paying a $420 monthly premium with a $2,000 annual deductible. Now he’ll be paying a $720 premium and a $500 deductible, but his family also will be getting maternity and dental coverage — something the Bennetts couldn’t get before.
“The process to even get insurance before was so difficult that surprisingly, even with all the bugs, I still find Healtcare.gov more simple,” Bennett said. “So for us this is a huge win, because we’re paying what we think is fair. And yes it’s more than before, but we actually have coverage that we like now.”
…Bennett said his solution of using the incognito mode, deleting cookies and clearing the cache isn’t necessarily information the public should have to know. It was “a thing that I happened to figure out because I do other nerdy things. If you ever see that white screen, this is going to solve the problem — period. As far as I can tell, there’s some issues with the cookies. Those cookies have some sort of malformed information that either was put on my computer when I signed up or somewhere along the line.”