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First,  let me say that, as far as I'm concerned, healthcare.gov is working.  This diary describes a bit of how I got to this point.

I've spent a long time trying to enroll in a plan in my state, Florida.  I think I've run into most of the problems people have brought up.  The solution for most was to just keep trying, at different times of the day and night.  However, there were two problems that left me stranded on the side of the road, for weeks.  I have no excuse, as I spent almost three decades in IT, repeatedly looking for alternate ways to do things.

The solution to the first problem was repeatedly suggested, but I was trying to “follow the rules”.  Like a fool.  The second problem was even more easily solved, by ignoring the prescribed method.

Problem 1:  I couldn't get past verification.  I was initially asked bogus questions, then a really bogus question; what was the name of a pet for whom I'd bought veterinary insurance?   That's like asking, what color is your Ferrari?  Um... what Ferrari?  What veterinary insurance?  So I was told I'd failed verification, and needed to contact Experian.  Unsurprisingly, Experian never received my reference number.  Not in 5 minutes, not in two days, not in three weeks.
Solution 1:  Duh.  As repeatedly suggested, use a different email (get a new one if necessary), and start over.  Worked like a charm.

Problem 2:  After filling out everything on the application, I reached the point where I was invited to “View eligibility results”.  After clicking on that, I was invited to “View Results” (isn't that what I just clicked on?).  And then, a blank page.  No info, no text, nothing, zip, nada.  And that was the best outcome.  Other times, I was presented with a page that said “Let's get started” (on the application).  An application which I've already completed.
Solution 2:  Duh again.  I finally tried this after calling for help, waiting a few weeks, calling and applying over the phone, then waiting two more weeks for further info, which still hasn't arrived.  Go back into the online account, get to the “View eligibility results” (or maybe it was the second page, I don't remember), ignore the message saying “You need to review the results before enrolling”, and click on “enroll”.  Voila!  I'm in.  I see the amount of the subsidy I'll receive, I see the plans available, the subsidized cost, a link to allow me to investigate the provider network, a link for details; pretty much all I need.

At this point, the only thing stopping me is myself, as I'm reviewing the plans carefully.  And if I encounter another brick wall, I'll kick it down or find a way around it.

Are you stuck?  Were you, but got past it through a simple workaround?  I'm  curious to know what is stopping people at this point.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Glad you got insurance but as an IT person (7+ / 0-)

    aren't you horrified by how cumbersome this whole system is?  It makes no sense.  People will not buy insurance like this.  Only those who really need it or those who are really determined.  That's not a marketplace.  That's a failure.  I can't get why they don't just super simplify it.  Having seem the NY Website and the Federal Web Site, just the way they are constructed, I believe somewhat similar to what the President has said, that Government just has not figured IT out yet.  They don't do it well.  That does not bode well.

    •  Not so much horrified as disgusted. (9+ / 0-)

      The people responsible for the site should be cringing whenever the subject is brought up.  I heard far too many jocular references to TIP and PIG during my career, and those approaches seem to be in full flower on hc.gov.  There is no replacement for testing.  Thorough testing can make up for a lot of incompetence, ignorance and laziness in development.

      The important point for me is, people should take it as it is.  Bring up problems, try to push for fixes, but above all, find a way to make it work.  Don't let web site crappiness stop you from getting insurance.

      I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

      by tle on Sun Nov 10, 2013 at 12:00:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Florida market is impossible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RBinDLH

      I called 1-800 line and took the 45 minutes to give them the info on me, my wife and our 21 year old daughter. I was unable to get ANY qoutes and was told they would send me a email when they are available. That was a week ago. In the mean time I contacted Cigna my current insurer and was told my policy is going up from 820 to 1050 next year. They did inform me that I could buy their comprable plan in the exchange for 1150 dollars but it has 0 for drug coverage. They did inform me my current plan ends after 2014.    I am so glad our progressive President patnered with the insurance companies and not public at large. He is probably getting the greif HE deserves unfortunatly those he begged for a single payer system will be the ones to truely suffer.

  •  What is stopping me at this point? (8+ / 0-)

    I qualify for extended medicaid but I am doing the sign up for my son and daughter-in-law, because they are not familiar with computers.

    From my research, I know they will qualify for a large subsidy and they will be very happy.

    What is stopping me is the fact that there is plenty of time. Instead of piling on and getting frustrated and throwing my computer through the window, I think I will just wait until they get the bugs worked out, which I am confident they will do.

    Thanks for asking and thanks for the tips.

    •  How about a compromise? (4+ / 0-)

      Go in and start the process.  When you run into a problem, set it aside.  Do this every day, and spend no more than a few minutes.  You may find that you get much further than you expect.

      I certainly understand your wanting to wait;  I'm a world-class procrastinator myself.  But I fear that new problems may arise, problems which stop people in their tracks.  I just want to get it out of the way.  I'll breathe easier when I'm done.

      I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

      by tle on Sun Nov 10, 2013 at 12:07:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Been waiting on id verification for over a month (0+ / 0-)

    now. Called a week ago to ask about deleting my account so I could start over. They told me to use a different email and create a new account but I only have one and I dont want to have to get a new one. So most likely if they wont delete my account I will wait it out and apply for an exemption if I cant get through the site by like 3/1.

    Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear." ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

    by bluestatedem84 on Sun Nov 10, 2013 at 12:04:15 PM PST

    •  They may not even be ABLE to delete the account. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sylv, bluestatedem84

      There may be bureaucratic rules that require them to keep every account open.  So you may need a miracle to happen;  for Experian to receive something from healthcare.gov and be able to verify your ID.

      I don't really have the luxury of waiting.  My pathetic insurance plan (PCIP, thru the gov't) expires 12/31/2013, and I really don't want to go without insurance.

      Good luck to you.

      I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

      by tle on Sun Nov 10, 2013 at 12:14:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Very easy to get email at gmail, etc. (0+ / 0-)

      New email: It is no obligation.

      New email: It costs nothing.

      New email: It will let you sign in.

      Old account does not need to be deleted. It is lost in IT hell. Abandon it. Forget it for the purposes of healthcare.gov.

      Just start over. Why not do what is suggested will work?

  •  My process (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nance, willynel, VA gentlewoman

    I started the first day and could not get past the ID process.

    Always the best solution - start a new account. I was verified immediately.

    Eligibility - I got to the page at the end of this process and clicked submit and it would reload the same page. I repeated about eight times and gave up. Later in the day I got eight emails for a link to view my results. It is a PDF download and using a mac, the default app for pdfs is Preview. That won't work. I downloaded Adobe Reader was able to see the file.

    I then was able to see and pick a plan. When I got to last page I did the "confirm and submit". Again the same page would always reload. I did the "confirm and submit" many times with no changes. Application page said "in progress".

    About a week and a half ago, I went to the page and the application page said "completed"!

    That was it. A week later I got a letter from the insurance company about my new plan.

    I am hoping my bugs and roadblocks are fixed now.

    Good luck and good health!

  •  I found that my "View eligibility Results" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LarryLK, tle

    erred because it was trying to open a pdf file. My computer defaults to Adobe Acrobat. Maybe because Acrobat allows you to edit, not sure, but it wouldn't open in Acrobat. I had to change my default to Reader, and it opened right up.

    I haven't gone further because A. I can't pay for any new policies yet, and B. I have to figure out where my son will be living in January '14 before I figure where he's going policy wise. With me, or Medicaid.

  •  Some of the Credit Bureau verification questions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    second gen

    are bogus to trip you up--such as the question about your pet insurance.  At first, I was clueless and alarmed as none of the options were true for some questions.  Then, I figured it out.  DUH!  If none of the given choices are true, you have to select "None of the above".  It's happened to me several times when I wanted to check out my credit at the 3 credit bureaus.

    Hope this may help others who get stumped when offered all "false" answer options.

    •  That's how I answered. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      awcomeon

      I failed verification anyway.

      The problem is that the information they're using may not be anywhere on a credit report you get from them, so how would you know to try to correct it?  How can you know whether they think it's bogus?

      On the credit report I got a few days after, I didn't see all the items about which I was asked.

      I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

      by tle on Sun Nov 10, 2013 at 02:58:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have been (0+ / 0-)

    stuck at various points but get further into the process each time I try.

    My latest try, though, was to correct a mistake I had made and, apparently, so far, there is no way to go back into your information and change it once you have saved or finalized everything. The 800 number lady said they were working on that.

  •  Seems like (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tle

    It's been working for over a week now. When will Chuck Todd report this?

  •  If it was working sufficiently.. (0+ / 0-)

    The White House would be crowing about it.They aren't. Here it is six weeks after the roll, and the site is still a giant mess. And so are several of the state websites.

    I wrote a diary on Oct 3rd saying that the site was a disaster. I also predicted that the whole system would need to be rebuilt. I still believe that.

    The damn fiasco has threatened the whole damn program, especially considering that we have half of the nation pulling for and working for, failure.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Sun Nov 10, 2013 at 04:48:11 PM PST

    •  Have you bothered to try again? Or are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ekgrulez1

      you just going to keep bitching about it until you look a fool because everyone else is insured, and you're still crowing about how horrible it is?

      •  I finally called it in over the phone. (0+ / 0-)

        But there is no reason to think that will get any further than using the website. "It's in the mail."

        It's broken, man. Admit it and start over before it collapses the whole plan.

        It was another mistake to give the November deadline, imv. You ain't seen nothing yet.

        What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

        by Cpqemp on Sun Nov 10, 2013 at 05:30:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So, you're saying you did get an application in, (0+ / 0-)

          but you still want to complain. Not even realizing that the site is working better every day.

          Got it.

          There are a lot of people who are being patient, and waiting. I need to change my insurance, but I don't need it until Jan 1. So I have time. I think people that have time shouldn't bother to clog up the site. You have to pay for your coverage when you get your application in, so why start it before I need it?

          You do realize that starting over would mean it won't be working at all because they'd have to take it all down. And it would be at least 3-6 months to put it up again. Or is that actually what you're hoping for? Maybe not even be able to get it going until after the elections, so it can be used as a sledge hammer on every democrat, and ensure a Republican president.

  •  I'm in NY (state exchange) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tle

    I live in an area with "only" 6 dozen plan variations that I can choose from. that takes time to go to their websites, check the plan details and providers etc.

    It took me about three weeks to finally get an account squared away, even though I started at 8:05 am on the 1st. (And I have an absurdly low account number so I know it was my early attempt that finally got completed, not one of my later attempts.)

    I use AOL as my browser and that seemed part of the problem, when I switched and just used IE straight, that made things ove along better.

    I had a few phone chats with the relentlessly helpful and cheerful people who are manning the NY HIX customer service lines. I imagine they get a high volume of pissed off people, but they have always been very helpful  and positive in my dealings with them.

    I'm ready for the plan-choosing stage, but dithering over the choices. An almost paralyzing buffet for someone who has desperately clung to the one available and satisfactory, but hideously expensive, individual plan I've had since the 1990s. My hand was forced when they moved out of my area for next year.

    So far, I'm liking the non-profit Co-Op health insurance company that's available in my area. The only drawback is that it was created just for the Exchange, so no track record.  Still, my premiums wouldn't go to fat cat executives as the Co-Op is member-owned.  And I like co-ops, for all their quirks.

    Araguato

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