Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Three times the accounts, three times the fun

It seems that everyone with a blog has a tale about their failed attempt to sign up on-line for Obamacare.  My own tale is already a month old and is no different from all the others, but I'm starting to feel like there is a noticeable void in my blog without out, so here it is . . . 

Shortly before the launch of www.healthcare.gov, I visited www.healthcare.org, which appears to be a website set up by the healthcare insurance industry to promote the still-gestating government-managed scheme.  It attempted to dispel the many "myths" about ACA, and gave assurances that the skies would always be sunny atop Big Rock Candy Mountain.  

The website has a handy calculator you can use to determine whether you will qualify for a government subsidy for the purchase of mandated coverage.  I do not qualify.  Another section walks you through the process of determining whether you will be hit with a tax/penalty and how much that will be.  Yes, I would owe a tax/penalty but for the grandfathered status of my existing high-deductible policy.  If I change my policy in any way, then the tax/penalty will kick in.

The website claims that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, less than 2% of Americans will actually be hit with a tax/penalty.  Except for my tenuous grandfather status, I would fall into that 2% category.  I'm finding it hard to believe that my circumstances are really that unique.

A couple of days after the launch of www.healthcare.gov, I decided to check it out just to see what my options are.  I went into the office early, thinking I might need a few extra minutes to complete the process.  A half an hour later, I hadn't managed to get as far as creating an account for logging in.  For a lengthy period of time, the screen would tell me to be patient while I waited for the scree for creating an account. Once it proceeded to the account creation page, I entered the requested information and established a username and password.  The system sent a confirmation link to my email address and I clicked on it.  I received a message telling me my account was successfully created.  I was automatically directed to the log-in page.  I entered my username and password and I received a message telling me they were invalid.  I tried again – same result.  I clicked on “forgot password.”  A new link was emailed to me.  I followed the link, answered the security questions, and then reset my password.  Then a message told me that the reset failed because I did not answer the security questions correctly.  (I know I answered them correctly.  I couldn't have forgotten the name of my first pet that quickly.)  I started all over, creating a new account.  Same result.

In the end, I created three accounts, none of which would allow me to log in.  (Now I'm likely on a government watch list for creating multiple accounts.)  I had the option of calling an 800-number, or seek the assistance of a government funded "Navigator" who could coach me on lying my way through the system, but instead, I decided to abandon the quest.  I emailed a local insurance agent who emailed me multiple quotes for Obama-compliant policies within a couple of hours.