For the uninsured, Obamacare is supposed to be a godsend, especially if you also self-employed and have preexisting conditions. Well, my family falls into all of the above categories, so I decided to jump on the Obamacare bandwagon as soon as it was available. Here is my experience with Healthcare.gov.
Monday morning, October 1st, 2013- D-Day for Obamacare going live. At the stroke of midnight, I made my way to the official website, healthcare.gov. So far so good. It asked me for my state, and I entered “Texas.” Great. Next, I had to enter my name, E-mail, address and password. Check. Check. Check. And, crickets. That was as far as the system allowed me to go.
I could forgive the first few glitches. After all, this system is brand new and bracing for millions of insurance-hungry Americans, right? I decided to give it another go first thing in the morning.
Tuesday, October 2nd, 9 A.M. They’ve had several hours to iron out some of those glitches, so I figured it would work better now, right? Wrong. Now, the system is so flooded with would be users that I can’t even enter my information. After two attempts and seeing the “We have a lot of visitors right now” message both times, it was time to table the issue for a while.
Tuesday, 12 P.M. High noon. This time, I did get farther. I was able to enter my sign-in information and progress to the security questions page. I’ve got this! I feel like I’m almost there! But . . . the security questions drop-down menus are all blank. I tried clicking on the “Live Chat” feature, but no one was available. Sigh. Now I’m getting a little disillusioned.
Tuesday, 3 P.M. I’m being fair to the government, right? I’m at least giving them a few hours between attempts to get things right. As I ask myself this question, I give it the old college try yet again, but to no avail. My 3 P.M. attempt ends similarly to the 12 P.M. session.
Tuesday, 6 P.M. Yes! The security questions are up! I select the three that I feel I can best remember, and enter my answers carefully. I submit the form and . . . “my account can’t be created at this time.” Curses!
Tuesday, 11 P.M. I took a break from healthcare.gov. We both needed one. It’s been 5 hours since my last attempt, and I’m raring to go. I noticed they changed the delay screen at the beginning, and I patiently waited my turn to enter my information. Login information, security questions, everything works! Finally, after almost 24 hours of trying, my account is successfully created. All that is left to do is verify my E-mail, and my cell phone chirps cheerfully with the notice from the website. I go to my inbox and click on the link, and once again, it says that there is a problem creating my account!
At this point, I am really irritated. I don’t fault healthcare.gov for having glitches. It happens, especially when dealing with such a behemoth project. Where I do find fault is with people telling us that the system is online and ready to go when, in fact, it is not. Not even close. I suppose I will give it a few days and the try again, but my new attempts at signing up for Obamacare will be made with a healthy dose of skepticism.