Obamacare REVIEW —– www.healthcare.gov is the new web site for ACA Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. There are glitches in the site and it has been overwhelmed with people trying to get onto it to register. President Obama addressed the nation to assure us that they were working on the problems.
Today I found an article where a man got passed the glitch or bug in the site by using Google Chrome in the incognito mode so I tried that and got into the site and it took me just over 2 hours to register.
I used the CHAT feature 4 times and twice they ended my CHAT session before they had answered my questions.
I called Customer Service at 1 800 318 2596 and they were of no help at all. For the most part what they tell you is to keep trying and they use the excuse that “There are Glitches and they are being worked on”.
The CHAT employees were not very well trained and spent more time trying to tell me to hold while they looked up basic information. I was also told by CHAT to call the Internal Service Group at the same number above. I think these employees that they are using for CHAT and the Customers Service lines might be out- sourced to the lowest bidder. Or could they possibly be employees that volunteered and stayed when the government shut down and then started up again.
At one point the site told me my identification was verified but the continue button did not work. Customer Service just told me to keep trying and CHAT told me I needed to call EXPERIAN at 866 578 5409 and that I needed my reference number but they did not give me a reference number. CHAT said I had a problem with my identity and needed to get it verified even though the site said my identity was verified. Then when I called back they said the reference number would be found in the confirmation email that they sent to me. It is a long number with letters and numbers at the end of the link. This is what the confirmation code looks like although a couple of letters and numbers have been changed the length is still the same.
I am fairly good at filling out applications but I found the site not only to be slow but it is not intuitive at all. It asks for the same information several times throughout the process so you have to keep entering in your address, your name and social several different times rather than having it pull it from the data base of information that has already been entered. Then you need to go through the entire process for your spouse and each child and or dependents. It seems more like an information collection website rather than a site where you can find information about healthcare.
If you were ask me I would say that the majority of Americans or those that live in the United States will not be patient enough to work through all the RED tape and finish the application process. If they have to pay the 1% fee they will end up doing so or trying to cheat or bypass something else on their taxes because it is too much of a hassle.
A story in the new today explained a man was paying $420 dollar monthly insurance payments with a 2000 dollar deductible and now he was able to get new insurance that covers more things like pregnancy insurance that he did not have before but he is now paying $720 per month but his deductible is only $500. I am concerned that people in the middle that really don’t have any extra money will end up either paying the fine or not have enough money to buy the insurance plans offered. This information comes from the same article as listed above. It is great that this man has the ability to pay $720 per month but many people that don’t qualify for free or discounted insurance don’t have $700 or even $500 to pay for health insurance.
To make matters worse this National Database can be used by law enforcement to find and arrest people including those not in the country legally. This is a negative factor in the whole process making people scared of providing information or scared of providing accurate or true information.
Several times the site came back telling me that certain specifics were not correct. One example of this was my wife’s A# information. It kept saying that it was an invalid A# yet this is the same A# issued by the US Government to her and is on all of her immigration documents. The same happened with the I-94 number when I tried to enter that. Some of the verbiage is not clear and understandable to the common person so that is also another issue they will figure out after several months I am sure.
Since those in the senate and congress don’t have to fill this information out they won’t worry about fixing it so I am sure these problems will continue for some time because of how the system is set up.
When entering your income information if you enter that you are paid every 2 weeks at the end of the questions it tells you that you don’t have any monthly income and it lists it out as zeros. This is brilliant because the program asks you what you make every hour, day , week, 2 weeks or monthly and then when you enter that information it interprets the information and you end up with a very tangled mess that obviously will be used improperly to provide us with quotes that will not be accurate.
So when you enter information that the program says is optional and it is not considered to be a valid number it will not let you continue and Customer Service and CHAT are about as much help as trying to call the IRS for advice. If anyone has ever tried that you know what I am talking about.
I have forms and letters that I sent to the Federal Government back in 2009 and I have still not gotten responses back so I won’t really hold my breath about this new health web site either.
So after I was able to figure out things by myself and finish the application it does not let you shop for insurance or compare anything. I got on CHAT again and they gave me instructions to turn off my pop up blocker (Which was not on by the way)
They told me Google Chrome is not completely compatible with their web site and that some people are having problems with the site because of that. I will now try with another browser but the reason I was able to get on and bypass the bugs was due to me using Google Chrome in the incognito window.
I opened the CHAT and accessed the system using Internet Explorer and it says IN PROGRESS and I was told by Lori in CHAT that the reason they are having glitches is because so many people are trying to access the web site at once. I told her the Government should have hired professionals to put the site together and maintain it but most likely they went with low bid. I still have jobs that I did for the US Government from over a year ago that they have not paid for yet so the red tape is not a new thing for us. I was also told to check back on off peak hours to see if it would work better than. Lori also said that I could call the customer service number and they could get me pricing without having the application done. My application is done but I guess we just have to be patient.
I did get onto the information part of the site only and catastrophic insurance for a family starts around $346 to about $600 and other plans which are Bronze around $500 and silver plans just over $500 and Gold plans around $600 and up. Some people would look at this as affordable and others that are in a group of people that don’t have an extra $500 to put towards insurance will end up paying the yearly fee of 1% and more later because they don’t have insurance. We pay just over $300 per month for a Select Health plan with a $3000 dollar deductible. It is recommended that you get an expert to help you decide because there are so many companies and so many plans and the new site does not really help much when it comes to making these plans clear.