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It took a new account and the help of a phone rep to get me across the finish line, but I am now the proud owner of a gleaming new and improved health insurance policy. As background, I am in IL, and am one of the "millions" facing cancellation of my current individual policy. I set up an account on the federal web site on Oct 4 but had never been able to view my PDF eligibility report or enroll. Each time I checked back in, the site would tease me to "View your Eligibility Results!" then dash my hopes with a big green button that went nowhere. Nor could a phone rep access anything to help. Follow me below the squiggle for my path to success.

I finally took the advice of many here and set up a new account yesterday, with a new email (and new username and password for good measure). Whizzed right through all the verification steps on line and finally got my eligibility report (a savable PDF). Yippee! Site design and interface improvements were obvious. The screens to get this far are much simpler, and more logically laid out by a factor of infinity than they were before.

Unfortunately, there are still hang-ups, as once I reviewed my report and clicked on Continue Enrollment I was stuck in a loop again. Trying to remain calm, I hit Chat, and they told me to call the phone rep who could for sure help. The phone rep was indeed able to bring up my info this time (woot!) and take me through the rest of the process. So, I was able to get only one step further on the website than on Oct 4 (and many retries later) but it was a critical step, and this time the rep could access everything. Seems like the eligibility report was the key; if I could see it so could they.

And this morning when I logged back in, there were the magic words "Enrollment Complete" in the status box. Still have to see if my info will transfer to my insurance company, but the rep gave me the company's customer service number without me even asking.

A couple pointers:

-- When I asked at the end of the process, the rep said they have now been able to help some of the early-stuck, but also are advising a new account (new email) if the rep can't un-stick the original either. Don't know if all reps are offering that advice, but seems at least mine was aware of this approach.

-- If you need to go the phone route, do try to know what plan(s) you want before calling, if possible. They have to read you a freaking HUGE amount of instructional and disclaimer stuff around the subsidy selection choice (apply it monthly, get in lump sum on tax return at year-end, or decline). And frankly I can't imagine listening to all the plan options over the phone. Please be patient with them during this, as it's required of them. If you are able to complete everything on line, you will be presented with the same forms to approve electronically.

-- I resisted the new account route for weeks, afraid of a possible "duplicate account" problem, and some magical thinking that--with site improvements--they could find my original. The phone rep assured me only completed enrollments would be sent on. And a wise dude here named Pluto finally burst my magical bubble, saying:

"...Many of those early sessions are corrupted because information was written in the wrong place or is in conflict with verification processes. They go nowhere. I'm pretty sure can't fix it from their end."
Still glad I did wait those weeks for the improvements they have made that finally got me through. Cool tech update by Pluto:

--Your new email can be simply what is called an "alias" on many ISPs, which goes right into your main Inbox. My alias only differs by one letter from my main one. No need even for a sub-account (that feeds a different inbox).

My results (64 yr old)

Current BCBSIL $5000 deductible $255 (very healthy, underwritten).
New BCBSIL Bronze $5000 deductible (and a ton of first-dollar benefits) $356 without subsidy, but only $120 with. And frankly, I would have been ok with the gross amount.

Good hunting, everyone!  

3:49 PM PT: Update!  Davehouck  reports in the comments:  "I just "chatted" with someone at I briefly explained my situation and asked about starting over.  She said yes, start over.  She also mentioned using a new username.  She said it wasn't necessary to use a new email address.... ".  This would be great news for all the non-tech savvy people who need to start over and haven't a clue about getting a new email.

 Love one another

by davehouck on Sat Nov 16, 2013 at 05:20:13 PM CST

4:43 PM PT: Just found this on at the bottom of the homepage, under three things to remember if you're having trouble:

•If you’re having trouble creating an account, we have reset email addresses in our system to clear out any problems. So go ahead and try again using your email address but you may need to choose a new username.

I can't vouch for it working; only that I used a new email and username and that did work for me.

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