Why you can only use Internet Explorer to sign up for Cover Oregon

Why you can only use Internet Explorer to sign up for Cover Oregon
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PORTLAND, Ore. - If the major technical issues weren’t enough, Cover Oregon is also being criticized for limitations surrounding the temporary fix used on the exchange that allows online application submission — but only for people using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Web browser.

The mechanics of the site have drawn the ire of Web users on the influential online social community Reddit, which has a discussion thread of well over 100 comments calling out the site for only allowing online applications through Internet Explorer, and the exclusion of others such as Safari and Chrome.

A sample comment from Reddit:

“I sent them a nasty email last night regarding this. There is no place for this type of behavior in a state that is so tech friendly, with such a vast pool of skill labor to pick from. I was on my Chromebook. I may boot my linux laptop, but no, I have to fire up my windows machine, find IE, probably update it to a point where it will not result in me instantly having to do a virus sweep, and hope that I can suddenly trust my personal information to the #1 compromised browser on earth.”

And that was one of the tamer posts.

What people are seeing now is the temporary fix, said spokesman Michael Cox. And the exchange acknowledges that it is not ideal.

Currently, while the site is ironing out glitches, users with any browser can fill out a PDF online. However, only those using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer can submit the application online.

According to the analytics firm Net Applications in the fourth quarter Internet Explorer had 52 percent of the desktop browser marketshare. Forty-six percent of the market is shared by Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Anyone using those browsers must print the completed application and then fax it or mail it to the state, Cox said. Online submissions are restricted to Internet Explorer only because the site has to interface with state systems that are older and require Internet Explorer.

Once the site is working as planned, online submissions should be available for any browser, he said.

So when might that happen? We may have some clarity by the end of Wednesday. Cover Oregon Executive Director Rocky King is in Salem today testifying before a pair of legislative committees.

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