Thursday, October 10, 2013

My Morning at Healthcare.gov!!


Since our President didn’t get a single question about Obamacare’s disastrous rollout at his press conference yesterday, I figured that all the “glitches” had been fixed at Healthcare.gov. So, this morning I decided to pay the site a visit. Who knows, maybe I would find some sort of health insurance miracle, or stumble upon some heretofore unknown subsidy that would relieve me of my nearly $1000 monthly insurance expense.

Upon entering the site, I am greeted by a lovely brunette with perfect teeth and just the slightest hint of Latino heritage in her dark eyes. The screen proudly proclaims in large font that the HEALTH INSURANCE MARKETPLACE IS OPEN! It then implored me to click on the apply now tab to see if I qualify for lower costs. Intrigued, I quickly hit the tab and was seamlessly transported to the second screen, this one featuring an older Asian woman and her daughter, both smiling widely as if they had just won the Lottery. Here I’m welcomed to the health insurance marketplace that I was assured was open for business on the first screen. I am then asked to choose between individual/family coverage or small business coverage. Who said there wouldn’t be options with Obamacare? I hit the family coverage tab.

At this point, I am ushered to the Let’s Get Started screen, where I find that before I can sample the wonders of government health care, I must first set up my marketplace account. The first set up screen is straight forward, only asking for my name, the state where I live, and my email address. Then comes the obligatory username and password screen. Finally I’m asked to choose three separate security questions, and for the first time I become uncomfortable. I am given 12 questions to choose from, but all 12 seem…odd. Some examples below:

What is your favorite radio station?

What is a relative’s telephone number which is not your own?

What is the name of the manager at your first job?

Who was the first Republican you voted for?

Ok, ok, I made that last one up, but the other three are legit. Seriously, they want me to offer a relative’s phone number??

Undeterred, I pick the three least intrusive security questions from the list and plow forward. I excitedly press the green create account tab whereupon I am informed that an email has been sent to the email address I provided and I should open it and go to the highlighted link. Sure enough, there is the Healthcare.gov email awaiting me in my inbox. I click on the link and am greeted by a yellow screen with the encouraging words, Almost there. This step may take a few minutes. The time was 7:10 am.

At exactly 7:18, large black letters declared the disappointing news that, THE SYSTEM IS DOWN AT THE MOMENT. In smaller letters underneath this shocking news was the comforting assurance that “We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Please try again later.” Damn glitches.

At this point, I decide to go back to the beginning and chose small business instead of individual/family. Perhaps the business side of the website was more amenable. Here a distinguished elderly African American woman is beaming at me while holding a phone to her ear. I begin to wonder if men are even allowed to be on this site since all of the smiling people I’ve seen are women. The small business screen is a bit more involved, explaining that in order to apply for group coverage; a five step gauntlet must be endured. I clicked through the steps and realized that my small business did not qualify for any subsidy. Imagine that?

So, there you have it. Can’t wait until Obamacare is fully implemented. Can’t wait!