Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Here's what happened when I tried to sign up for Obamacare's exchanges: column

10:38 PM, Oct. 9, 2013  |  Comments
  • Filed Under

In an effort to get affordable health insurance and to support the Affordable Care Act which makes that possible, I visited healthcare.gov at 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 1. Part of my reasoning was based on necessity - I need health insurance that doesn't cost me half of my income. But the reason I jumped on early was also somewhat political. I figured the best way to show obstructionist Republicans the error of their ways in trying a last ditch effort to defund ACA while taking our government hostage was to sign up early.

First problem I encountered: The site is not Mac friendly. At least not usable on an older Mac. I was using Firefox as my browser, which works for most sites, but when none of the security questions showed up, I knew that it was time to switch computers. Luckily, I have both a Mac and Windows PC at my disposal, but when a site is supposed to be easily accessible, it should be accessible on just about any working computer, regardless of operating system.

Second problem I had was one I never could have imagined I would have. I had quite a difficult time verifying my identity. The site asks for Social Security number, date of birth, address: all the things you would expect. But there also are a series of questions that only the real Jennifer Dolan should be able to answer.

Except I couldn't answer all of the questions! The questions are posed as "which is a former or previous ____?" When it came to employers, streets I lived on, schools attended, that was fine. When it came to a previous cellphone number? No clue! These are multiple choice questions, and the thing is, I had a few previous cellphone numbers, none of which I remember; for the past six years, I have been on someone else's calling plan.

Same held true when it came to the parent company of a store credit card I once held. While I know the stores I had credit cards with, I probably never knew the name of any of the parent companies.

It became necessary for me to wait until 7:30 a.m. to call someone at Experian to prove that I am me. I called the number, waited about 15 minutes and then proceeded to answer a new set of questions. This time, I was able to verify my identity, so all is right with the world - except that the healthcare.gov site was now so congested with heavy traffic that a "system is down" error message was all that would come up on my screen.

This was all before 8 a.m. on the first day people could sign up for coverage. In the days since the, I have continued to get an error message when I try to complete my application. I have received documentation in the mail with a phone number if I wish to speak with one of the navigators. I may decide to do that, but for now, I'm waiting for the website to work so I can take some time to look through my health care options.

With all these people rushing to sign up for the exchanges, I think one thing is very clear: Americans want Obamacare! Those of us without adequate health care coverage wanted this for a long time.

This is now the law of the land, and anything standing in our way of getting said health care is now unlawful - or in the case of healthcare.gov, just downright annoying.

Healthcare.gov has been congested and filled with errors, and officials are working to address that. Millions of Americans have accessed the site, some with success; others, like me, are still frustrated. If the incredibly high demand on the site doesn't show how much people want affordable health care, nothing will!

What's your take on the Packers Family Night change?

Retrieving results.
Watching practice is fine.(Your vote)
15%
573 votes
I'd rather watch a scrimmage.(Your vote)
23%
855 votes
I don't want to pay to watch practice.(Your vote)
27%
1013 votes
It doesn't matter to me.(Your vote)
34%
1271 votes

Catch up on the latest in our pregame show every game day.

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports

ORDER YOURS

Football fans

If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports