Spanish language Obamacare website a failure; Puerto Rico residents cannot register

by 1389 on October 23, 2013

in "Obamacare", 1389 (blog admin), FAIL

Screen shot from

Americans residing in the US territory of Puerto Rico, where Spanish is the official language, can use neither nor

According to Washington Times Communities:

U.S. Territories

A lot of Americans forget that the U.S. still has a number of entities whose residents are U.S. citizens but whose place of residence is not formally a state. Washington D.C. is one of these for example, but it’s considered a Federal District that’s neither a state nor a territory, though it’s treated in many respect like a state, which is why we listed DC in the state listings above.

The following listings, however, are our actual current territories. Obamacare is coming to them, too, but the exact route seems more circuitous for whatever reason.

Here’s a quick rundown of Territory status with regard to Obamacare registration:

Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa: No response and no apply now button.

Guam: no link, no help, “Check with your territory’s government offices to learn more about health coverage options.” Do that, and let us know what you find out.

Too bad, Puerto Rico: Fed site says “If you live in Puerto Rico, you’re not eligible to use the Marketplace to apply for health insurance. Check with your territory’s government offices to learn about health coverage options.”

“If you live in the Virgin Islands, you’re not eligible to use the Marketplace to apply for health insurance. Check with your territory’s government offices to learn about health coverage options.”

No smiling faces here.

We’d appreciate any input from residents of the above territories who can explain to us where they’ll have to go and what they’ll have to do to get fully involved in mandatory Obamacare fun.

Much more here.

Puerto Ricans and other Spanish-speaking Americans living in the continental US won’t fare much better:

Obamacare Website for Spanish Speakers Has Problems, Too

Lost in the hubbub surrounding the malfunctioning is another missed deadline and closed door for millions of Americans seeking health insurance: Cuidado­

The Spanish-language site still does not allow consumers to enroll for exchange coverage, a delay that was previously estimated by administration officials to last until mid-October.

A spokeswoman from the Health and Human Services Department declined to comment on when consumers will be able to sign up for health insurance on and whether the additional delay is related to the malfunctions on the English language site,

Roughly 10.2 million Latinos in the United States do not have health insurance, according to HHS data.

But Spanish speakers—along with Americans frustrated by the experience—are being directed to a toll-free number, 800-318-2596, for help with the sign-up process, which President Obama says would involve a 25-minute call for individuals and 45 minutes for families.

“Additional features for online enrollment will be available as we make upgrades to the site,” HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said in an email.

On, consumers can search for specialists in their communities who can assist in completing paper applications. The site also contains educational information about the Affordable Care Act and advertises the call center, which has bilingual staff on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To date, the call center has fielded 41,000 Spanish-language calls, HHS said.

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