One Man’s Quest to Sign Up for Obamacare


Day 4:

After spending more than two hours in the waiting room, I once again tried to create an account at healthcare.gov so my family could #GetCovered – as instructed by President Obama and Secretary Sebelius.

My first attempt at setting up an account today was thwarted when healthcare.gov said the user name I attempted to use was no good:


Ack! It says the username already exists? This was the username I had set up on Day One (backstory here), but the system ultimately didn’t recognize it. I feared some other Tony Jewell had used my cleverly placed underscore.

To be sure, however, I used this page to attempt to recover my password associated with that account that I had long ago given up on:


Seconds later, I received an email – indicating that it was indeed associated with me, Tony Jewell:


Feeling encouraged, I followed the link to reset my password as directed.

I slowly typed in my password of choice, the computer whirred and took me to …


What the wha …???

I had just entered my profile name. It sent me an email to my email address. I clicked on the link to take me back to the page … and it “couldn’t find a Marketplace profile that matched information” that I provided?

How in the world did it email me then? That is one hugely random coincidence (note to self: Buy Powerball tickets before Saturday night).

So, I give up on my chosen identity that may or may not exist in the Marketplace and attempt to create a new one.

Four attempts were met with the same answer each time:


The “invalid format” for answers of security questions that I provided were words. In English. No symbols. No sentences. Just simple words that I was pretty sure I could remember if asked again.

Alas, I’m not sure I will ever be given that opportunity. At least millions are still visiting the website.

Tony Jewell is the founder of Boardwalk Public Relations in Ventnor, New Jersey. He is a former corporate and state and federal government spokesman. This post originally appeared in his blog, Life in the Affordable Care Act.

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  31. still waiting for the bill from insurance company almost 7 days , never got it
    but when i cal back markeplace to find out whats going on , i found that they mad a mistake on my last name ,
    so dont wait for them to call you ,

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  33. If you need assistance with your medications while you are waiting for your healthcare application to go through, there are sites on the web that offer precription discount cards along with free medication coupons and more. Even if you have insurance you can sometimes find manufacturer coupons for free medication as well.

  34. I was able to enroll no problem i got a florida blue paid my first premium got my cards, the Dr”s i wanted did not take this plan so the market place gave me the option to change the plan! i did that then realized it was another blue select i choose so rather then do it again myself i went to the local blue office she removed the two that i had and tried to sell me a far more expensive mho plan she had my head spinning i told her to just get me back into the plan i paid for she wanted me to think about it i went home and back on the market place and got back on the plan i paid for 2 weeks later i get a termination notice from fl blue now i have no insurance it was to start on March 1st i called fl bule every day hoping to get someone that would try to help me but they put it on the market place back and forth for weeks!!!!!! now the market place says i have a policy it is active as of 3-1-14 but i am not in the fl blue system? so NO I AM NOT COVERED. my question if i remove my application and redo one will i finally wake up from this nightmare and be able to get coverage?? some one must know.

  35. As of today 3/3/14 it’s still a mess. My story: I submitted an online App on 2/6/14 thru the exchange and paid my premium online by credit card for March 1st enrollment. The insurance company Got my payment but not my App. They blame healthcare.gov for not forwarding app. The insurance co. cannot allocate my premium because my account is not setup. They do not admit that I have coverage. Healthcare.gov 1-800# says app is stuck and they don’t know why and have said they have forwarded problem to “escalation dept.” who will take 30 days to call me back. I’m still waiting!!! You cannot speak to escalation dept. Phone reps are nice but completely useless and powerless to do anything but keep telling you to wait. They ought to all be fired for incompetency including the President. Oh I forgot, he’s already been reelected . . . Not sure what to do if they don’t call me. I guess I could try canceling the app and starting all over, but I already did that once and it didn’t work. welcome to government healthcare…they can’t even forward an application those morons!!!

  36. verifying authentication… spins and spins and never logs in anymore. I got in once in the early days with enough attempts, but now it seems busted. Changing browsers does nothing.

  37. Simply put, IT STILL DOESN’T WORK as of 12/15/2013, and I felt raped!
    It complained that the account/email i used was already created, but didn’t allow me to log in. Then, I created another account with a new gmail, then it let me in and asked me tons of stupid questions about my family relationship which I already answer, like ” is my daughter a brother/sister of my son?”, and I answered yes, and then it ask me again “is my son a brother/sister of my daughter?” dud!? I spend 30 minutes to answer all the questions, birth dates, social security, ect. and in the end it kicked me out to the beginning of the registration and asked me to redo everything AGAIN ! ah!!!!! I felt raped. I waited for the next day to log in again and this is the authentication error I got.

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  38. Chinna,, I started on this blog way back. I’m one of those losing healthcare end of year. Was impossible to log on all thru Oct. But, I did get an application and sent in. Nov 8th went on computer. Verifier called me.After many calls..I did get the ID# just a week or so ago. My results didn’t even make sense !! From all cauculators, I’m eligible for a tax credit ,near the top, but, it sure will help. My results said I don’t make enough income and to go to health community center in area. I called the 800 #, and the person asked about income etc. He assured me something was wrong, ” no kidding again!”and tried to delete my application, but, couldn’t figure out how to do it. After I realized this was possible I later did it myself, and now I can’t even complete. The system is down. After another call…I wanted to know if it’s because the site is just busy. They said, No, it’s just not working. They don’t know when it will be fixed. This was since Dec.1st. I’ll keep trying till my last day possible for Jan 1st coverage. I never go without insurance. I do have a medical condition. Spoke to insurance companies supervisor, and she said to followup with them to see if they received plus results from healthcare.gov is not correct a lot of times. So this is a broken website, and I believe I will be paying the full price for 2014, and at this point, trust isn’t really there.

  39. I don’t like healthcare.gov. Everyweek a different problem. It has been more than 1 month and I am not able to complete. It is still in verification state until 4 days ago. Now I can’t even login. I get following error and whole process is big mess.

    Access Denied
    You don’t have permission to access “http://eidm.cms.gov/oam/server/authentication?” on this server.
    Reference #18.942d1bb8.1386296355.55ca2e35

  40. Finally I am able to successfully enroll. I tried resuming my old application but that was freezing as usual, the healthcare.gov website now has an option to remove your application and start over and that worked for me . Woah finally !

  41. I received my letter and cards from BCBS of Michigan today. I had completed enrollment on healthcare.gov on 11/2, so it took around 20 calendar days to get the letter. I made no phone call, chats, or email once I was enrolled. I was surprised to find new cards in the envelope. There was also a “3 Step” flyer in the envelope as well. Step 1 was “Pay your premium to activate your coverage”. There was no bill in the envelope! I can only assume that a bill is following in the mail. Overall, the entire process was VERY complicated, and stressful. I spent a good 40-50 hours on the web site and forums looking for answers. I am happy, and may be the first person in the country with BCBS cards effective 01/01/2014!

  42. Well, Obama did say that about people keeping their current plans, so cannot argue that. But the ACA isn’t affecting everyone so its not like a kitchen. The individual market for insurance has been a nightmare for a long time, so this is just another part in it too me.

    Quite a lot of people lately I’ve talked to or read about is saying the website works lots better. I did finally get enrolled and didn’t have a problem with the income thing. That appears to be worse for state run but not sure, because they want more information.

    It is true a lot of old polices aren’t much good and maybe people know it and don’t care. I know I been dealing with it a long time and I hate insurance companies. So, for some I think it will be better and others maybe not. But it shouldn’t have stayed as it was in the past, for long as it did. Of course in some states it was better than others also.

  43. Saw this comment on another site and had to share: “This ACA mess is just as if the Government decided that American kitchens are old and outdated and the poor don’t have access to adequate kitchens, so we the Government are going to renovate everyone’s kitchen into our ideal of the perfect kitchen. But to make it not sound so bad, the president promises “if you like your old stove and refrigerator, you can keep them, period.” Then later, he says that you can only keep that old stove and refrigerator if they are Energy Star compliant, no matter how much you may have liked them, having given you good service for years. (No matter that most of the old appliances do not meet Energy Star requirements and the Government knows that in reality almost no one will be able to keep the old appliances under these rules). The Government decrees that you will like the new appliances better even if they cost more and have extra features you didn’t want. Then, to try and quench the furor when peoples’ stoves and refirigerators start getting hauled away, he backs down and says you can keep the old stove and refrigerator for another year, after many of them have already been tossed in the landfill and can’t be recovered. Meanwhile, you go without a stove and refrigerator at all because the Government website where all new stoves and refrigerators must be procured doesn’t function, and it can’t verify your income to see whether you qualify for a subsidy to buy the new ones. No wonder people are pissed off. I know that all sounds absurd, but that is exactly what is happening to health care.”

  44. BCBS emailed me today saying they got my Application also. I’m really curious if talking to a supervisor yesterday actually got someone to fix it, because its been 10 days and it happens to come in after I waited to talk to one.

    No idea but at least they got it and hopefully it has the right information. The manager at BCBS was watching for me so that is all he knows, someone is suppose to contact me later. They must be busy because my brother hasn’t got the bill yet and its been 11 days since they got his application. Suppose to have been sent but apparently it wasn’t when they said it would be. It usually takes a few days after they get it form the marketplace before they will process it to be billed.

  45. Just received a call from my chosen insurance company to confirm my coverage selection. Much to my surprise after being told on Tuesday that no information had come in from the healthcare.gov site, it apparently did trickle through. She said they are getting them in very slowly over the past week or so.

    She verified my selection and emailed me a payment coupon for the first month premium. She also sent me a directory of doctors on email to choose a primary and to keep for my records. Gave me my member ID numbers and information to access their online system.

    All in all I was surprised and shocked that this process could be nearing its close.

  46. Yeah, I know about how the call back is normally useless. But at least I caught them ahead of time of not having it even listed for my account. After the person I talked to during the day that said it was setup, I called back last nigh again.

    The woman didn’t seem to be in a hurry and said there was nothing added to my account that day and I wouldn’t get a call. So she did it for me. At least it appears that saved me 5 days of nothing. So today I called again and ask right off to talk to someone higher up. The woman told me I already had it escalated and would get a call. So the second person did do it.

    But I still wanted to talk someone else so she connected me to someone that answered by name in the IT dept. At least she knew the applications details and saw mine should have been sent. I ask her was there suppose to be any delay and she said not, that once you confirm the plan its goes to the insurance company.

    Still, she didn’t know why it didn’t get sent can only turn it over to a specialist So its back to get a call in 2-5 days. I love the way it went from 2-5 days rather than the 2 days it use to be.

    I ask her what am I suppose to do when nobody calls, and it was the usual answer. Call back and we will try to get you in touch with someone that can help. But, there isn’t anyway you can contact me direct of course. I would say it should be more simple since all they need to is send it, but most likely they will make it much more complicated than that.

    I’m about positive it would have worked if I’d sent it on the 1st or 2nd. They screwed something up with their updates later that weekend. Also the insurance guy told me the applications stop coming in again last week after getting a lot at the first part of the week.

    So, I don’t know if I’ll ever get anything or not. I don’t believe I can start over because its different once the site shows enrollment. I did forget to ask her what happens if I remove or terminate all plans. If I knew it only cancelled the plans and the everything stays, then I should be able to do it over again. It truly is one messed up website and not much better than in Oct. Plus today they said it wouldn’t be totally fixed at the end of Nov. But the ACA itself helps me, but it has to work first.

  47. The subsidy stuff is admittedly confusing to the avg man on the street, but I would hope that – of all people – BCBS employees have been trained on the basics.

    If I were you, Lynne, I’d quote the part of the ACA she’s violating. In this case, it’s Title I, Subtitle E, Part 1, Subpart A that states the subsidy applies to all “qualified health plans”, which they define as any non-catastrophic plan sold in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Bronze plans are pretty minimal, but they aren’t what the ACA considers catastrophic.

    Not that she’ll have a copy of the ACA handy, but at least it will sound like you know what you’re talking about. Which you do.

  48. I was just told by an employee at BCBS North Carolina that Bronze Plans are not eligible for subsidies. She said that I must choose a Silver Plan or higher if I want my subsidy amount to be deducted from my premium.

    This is unbelievable. It is 48 days to implementation of this law, and I am being lied to by my insurance provider. Isn’t this illegal? Are they trying to steer people into the higher priced plans?

    We’re on our own, people. Get ready to pay the full price of whatever plan you choose by the end of January or lose your coverage.

    Even if they reinstate this year’s plans they’ll raise the premiums to be in line with the 2014 rates you’re seeing.

    We need assurance from the government that any subsidies for which we’re eligible will be refunded to us in we have to pay the full price of our new policies. We don’t need to pay for this year’s policies at next year’s rates without subsidies.

    It just gets worse every day…

  49. Once we get past the healthcare.gov final confirmation, I guess we’ll all have different experiences depending on whether our chosen carrier has its act together.

    For what it’s worth, my application seems to have moved along without requiring any further action on my part. After healthcare.gov gave me the success message Nov 2nd, I just waited for someone to contact me as the site promised. This morning (the 13th) BCBS Illinois finally called, thanked me for choosing them, verified my personal information, asked questions about what drugs I’m currently on, etc.

    Still no payment arrangement or subsidy confirmation (she said that was a different department), but she says I’ll be getting the policy info, insurance card, etc. in the mail in the next few days.

  50. That’s a good idea. The companies involved in the exchanges seem to know just as much as the people answering the 800 hotline number. Maybe if they had a core group of people responsible for handling the ACA enrollments it would make things much smoother for those of us who had to enroll through the government marketplace.

    The other issue that I’ve found when talking to the insurers is that they are unable to do the applications themselves because they can’t access the subsidy information. It would make sense for the government to get the insurance companies the ability to pull up subsidy information through a separate portal so they can just handle the applications directly. That would alleviate much of the traffic to the healthcare.gov site and expedite the sign up process so people can get covered in time for Jan 1.

  51. Good luck Robert on getting that call. I heard that twice already. If nothing is passed where we will be able to keep “the policy I Lost” I’m about ready to take that $100 subsidy they say I’m eligible for and let them keep it ! It is getting to be worth it, not to deal with the gov’t. and have them in all my business.

  52. BCBS didn’t actually receive my application yet either. But at least I have no problem at all finding this out. Maybe it was luck but I got the email to a manager in memberships and I think he handles a lot of ACA stuff. I’ve talk to him a few times since Oct. 5th.

    The mix up with me was because my brother applied Nov. 2nd after the website started getting past the confirm page and showing enrolled. I emailed the BCBS guy over that weekend and he answered about 10am Monday that they got my brothers and was processing it. Then I applied later in the day on that Monday Nov. 4th.

    Then I emailed him again and I guess he thought since my brothers worked my did. But last Friday I ask him for a time frame to get information from them, and he said that my brothers paper work was mailed Nov. 8th but after checking they didn’t get mine.

    I wasn’t happy to hear that, apparently whatever they did over that weekend mess something up. So, all my brother has to do is send in the first payment and he is set. They haven’t mentioned anything about filling out another application or not getting anything until Nov. 30th.

    So, I called the useless reps at the marketplace last night and when I finally got the person to understand, they gave me a policy number and told me to give it to BCBS, said it was suppose to be sent. Today the insurance man said he let his team look for it but didn’t have my name. I could tell he didn’t think that number would help them any.

    He told me to call back and get them to confirm it to BCBS. Easier said than done I told him. So I called again today and after listening awhile to how I was enrolled and the insurance “had” to received it, I she finally gave up getting me off the phone. Then did that turning into another dept that would call me back, because only they can do something like that.

    Later in the day I was talking to the BCBS man and he said they only received a few applications in Oct. But on Nov. 4th, the day my brothers showed up, they got a LOT in. Then 4 or 5 a day after that for a couple of days and nothing since.

    So, it appears to me the way they are working on the website it breaks some things that started working. I don’t know why I didn’t apply on Nov. 2nd because I’m about sure it would have gone through.

    Reading the posts it also seems like some insurance companies don’t want to process anyone yet for some reason. Also, I’m sure if anyone from the marketplace calls me most likely they will just to say they are still working on the site and won’t send mine in by itself. I don’t see how they are going to get everything working before Dec. 15th. Its stupid my BCBS cannot simply call them for the information, but he said they aren’t allowed to do that.

    The main problem I have with the way it is now though, is the website is showing its been sent and I kind of doubt they will send the applications in again without someone doing it manual. The only way I can see them getting sent now is if the people working on the site are holding them on purpose. But the people working at the marketplace say that’s not suppose to happen. So, I’m stuck waiting on a phone call within 5 days.

  53. I also have not heard from my insurance company. I tried telephoning them today and got nowhere. I explained why I was calling to the first rep I talked to and got transferred. Finally spoke to that person and got transferred yet again! After about 25 minutes, a gent came on the phone and just wanted to see if I was in the right department. I told him that I sure as heck hoped so because I had been passed along twice already. I finally gave up. I’ll try another time. I’m going to suggest to my insurance company that they have a department set up for people with ACA questions as opposed to just their normal lines.

  54. Never heard anything from my insurance company that I chose, so I decided to contact the company today to see if they had gotten my information. The insurance company representative that I spoke to said they have not gotten any enrollments and they would not get any enrollments until the healthcare.gov website is fully operational. He also said that even when they did get the info, that I would need to do a second application with the company directly and they would match up the information with the information already given to the government via the website.

    They have no idea when they will receive the applications from the website. The government told them by November 30, the site would be fully functional. Needless to say, that doesn’t seem like a realistic target as of today.

  55. I am able to unlock the “review and confirm” but, it does not still confirm.
    I was wondering if it is because I did not choose any Dental insurance???? Did you guys who went to the completion phase apply for dental insurance as well ??

  56. Monday will be a week for me also, but I’m not in Michigan. I’m going to email again BCBS again and ask for a update. I got the email for a manager and he always answers. But he don’t always have a answer on a time frame. Last week he said someone should be in contact in a few days but it didn’t happen. Seems to be like they’d want to go ahead and process the enrollments they do get, considering how many cannot even get to that point yet.

    My plan on ACA does match the insurance website, but you need to make sure you are looking at the right level on the BCBS website if using a subsidy. There are 4 different levels on the same plan when I look. Maybe they don’t use the word level but its the same thing.

  57. Started on this site Nov.1st. as stated, sent paper application. First of all, live chat is a joke. So is 800 #. Yesterday had a call from a “verifier” from Marketplace. Took her name, security # everything. She had a question concerning one of my questions. She was going to see if possible to put on computer. I told her it was impossible for me to even log on, I’ve tried everything. Changed passwords, different email accounts etc. She said my area is totally locked out. She could not assure me I would be able to be covered by Dec 15th. At end of conversation I asked for her tele# and ext. if I had to talk to her. She said I had to go thru 800#. Well, last nite got email from her stating a message for me at marketplace account. To log in. GREAT ! No avail. Called 800# and explained. They said they should be able to pull up. Here’s where this gets scary…I gave info about “verifier”. Name # etc. THEY DID NOT KNOW WHAT THIS WAS ! I’m on hold. Asked my username. They are locked out. But, they could see they have TWO applications from me. They said I did one online prior to paper being received ! I said that’s impossible. I was put on hold more times. She said ” we have a problem here.” No kidding! I was on the phone for 1 HOUR ! They ended up telling me the person that called me , will more than likely send my results to me, but, they don’t know which application it will go by ! Thank you, but, we cannot help you. The security here , just does not exist. I’m near the top of any subsidy, and I am considering going to talk to local independent insurance agent and this program I believe will crash sooner or later. Late last night I tried to see if I could log on again. O. Changed my password again….and I got in. 1st time. No message from verifier.

  58. It has been 1 week, since I completed “Enrollment”, and I still have not received anything from BSBS of Michigan. I also went to both the BCBS of Michigan web site and healthcare.gov, and printed out the plans. The maximum out of pocket numbers do not match at all! healthcare.gov shows $1000, and BCBS shows $2800. This is for the Silver Premier. Anyone else see this?

  59. I am waiting for contact from BCBS as well. It is my understanding that BCBS has folks working at the “Fed command center” to assist in getting the info from the Fed to BCBS. They have a vested interest in making sure that our enrollments get to them. If not, BCBS could see a big drop in policies come 1/1/14!

  60. I am also awaiting communication from my insurance company for billing information. I’ll wait a few more days and then maybe try contacting them via their website just to make sure they have my enrollment info. I figure that the government website finally started working and instead of a trickle of applications, the insurance companies got hit with a fire hose!

  61. For me being able to actually get confirmation of being enrolled only started working after Nov. 1st. I was locked since around Oct. 10th and kept removing my plan and doing it over many times since then.

    Some people in other places claimed what wouldn’t unlock the review and confirm but of course it does. Also clicking on review eligibility results unlocks it on mine, but have to re-enter more information that way.

    I found these comments looking to see if anyone had the problem and could actually enroll. So based on what I see here it started working Nov. 1st but maybe not for every area.

    Just keep trying I guess. The pay option don’t work but I emailed the insurance company and they got my application. They said would let me know how to pay in a few days. Haven’t heard anything else yet.

  62. Thanks for the new plan trick, The “Review and Confirm” is unlocked now. But I am still not able to get a confirmation 🙁 !

  63. I’ve made it to the completion phase as well! The choosing a new plan trick worked perfectly.

  64. I may get flamed for saying this….. but after considering all the possibilities that have brought us to this point, I can only come to the conclusion that this whole scenario is an unprecedented SCAM on the American public. With my limited working knowledge of 21st century computer programming, I can see a multitude of ways all this could have been either circumvented or remedied through use of document scanning into whatever database is required to ultimately communicate the required information to the chosen insurance companies. With the possibly inaccurate assumption that the insurance companies actually WANT these newly-mandated enrollees, and further possibly inaccurate assumption that the funds really exist to make these credits available as partial or full payment of the premiums, there is no excuse whatsoever to the interference with the required flow of information.

    I have read all the previous posts, and honestly admire the perseverance and effort in the spirit of sharing the posters have demonstrated, but can only draw the conclusion that there is a purpose to all this delay, which will only come to a postponement, indefinite or otherwise, to this whole deleterious scenario. The truly needy “applicants” due to cancellations or other situations have my sympathies. May I conclude with the ultimate response once again received today on healthcare.gov:

    The System is down at the moment.

    We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Please try again later.

    Please include the reference ID below if you wish to contact us at 1-800-318-2596 for support.

    Error from: https%3A//www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/auth/FL/en_US/myAccount%3FappId%3(deleted)%23applications
    Reference ID: (deleted)

  65. User, I second your comments about the lame no-help desk. Normally I’m sympathetic with customer service folks – especially when they’re supporting a lousy product. It’s a thankless job talking to frustrated, angry people all day.

    But in this case, I was amazed that the people I communicated with seemed to have no curiosity about what page I was on, what error messages I may have seen, or my attempts to get around the problem. How can site developers identify and fix problems when nobody is tracking or logging the specifics? I got the impression that at the end of his shift, the customer service guy’s log simply said, “20 people had problems logging in. 340 people had some other problem.”

    My advice to the website designers (if they every stumble upon this blog): Give each webpage a unique title. Number each step on the page. Have Customer Service people keep a record of the specific page and step # the caller is asking about. That way, instead of “try again later”, the caller may hear, “Oh yeah, a lot of people are stuck in the Review and Confirm step. We know about the problem, and we’re working on it. We’ll put your email address on the list so you’ll automatically get an email when it’s fixed.”

  66. Congratulations, PA User. One of the most frustrating aspects of using the live chat or phone center help has been that nobody “on the other side” even seems to know how the web site is SUPPOSED TO WORK. Shouldn’t they know the step-by-step process and be able to tell you whether any error or inability to continue is your fault or a problem with the web site?

    I think the few of us here who have managed to enroll are more qualified to work the live chat or phone lines than the people who are working there currently.

    Typical government SNAFU.

  67. A BIG THANKS to Jim and everyone else who chimed in with this tip! I was stuck in the Locked state for two weeks. I’m not sure whether I tried deselecting & reselecting the plan before today, but in any case, today it worked. I didn’t find it necessary to select a different plan. Specifically, starting from the Enrollment To-Do List, here’s what I did:

    In “Select a health insurance plan”, click Change.
    It displays a list of available plans, and your currently selected plan with an “Unselect” button. Click Unselect.
    Click on your name and the “My Applications & Coverage” menu item to get back to your profile page.
    Click on your In-Progress application and Resume Enrollment to get back to the Enrollment To-Do List.
    Go back into “Select a health insurance plan” and reselect your desired plan.
    In the To-Do List, Review & Confirm should be unlocked and you can now proceed through that step again, with a chance of success this time!

    Like the other commenters, I ended up at a screen that displays my monthly premium, with humorously non-rounded decimal places, and a notice that the insurance company should send me a bill for the first premium (within 45 days, in my case).

    The thing that disturbed me most about this process was the complete uselessness of both the “Live Chat” help and the call center help. I tried both 3 times. The Live Chat people never even tried to help me, they just told me to call the call center. As far as I could tell, none of the call center people ever had the slightest idea what I was talking about. It sounded like they had never seen or heard of the Enrollment To-Do List screen. They just stalled around, asked me for my personal info over and over again for no apparent reason, and told me to wait and hope for something to be fixed. They also didn’t seem to have any procedure for reporting a problem to anyone who did know anything, to ensure that it would get fixed.

  68. As Lynne said, it may just be that the site finally started working and the log jam has been finally unclogged. The next week or so will let us know for sure if we’re contacted by our insurance companies. We’re all keeping our fingers crossed!

  69. Thanks to Jim and all! I was stuck at the locked enroll page for weeks then I read your post today. I logged back in, made sure my browser could accept cookies, un-saved my plan, then chose it again. It took me through to the “Pay” page and I am now waiting for my provider to contact me. I gave the “Live Chat” people your tip. Hope it gets passed on. Thanks again.

  70. Way to go, Lynne! Thought we had lost you. Glad you hung in there. I’ve done the de-select/select thing so often I can’t recall now if I tried the first choice or not when I finally got through. The second choice is very similar so I don’t think I will notice a big difference. Like you, I am anxiously awaiting “the next few days” to see if I’m contacted.

  71. So glad I’m following this board. I just “unchose” my selected plan and then went back and selected it again and was able to confirm and get the “Congratulations! Youve successfully completed all steps of your application. See below for next steps or return to My Account” message.

    I was not able to “PAY FOR HEALTH PLAN” by clicking that button, but the following message was on the “Congratulations” page:

    To activate your new coverage, you must pay your first month’s premium by your plan’s due date. Your plan will contact you in the next few days with details on how to pay, or visit your health plan online to make your payment now if your plan accepts online payment. Your payment must be received and processed by the effective date to be fully enrolled. Contact the plan’s customer service if you have any payment questions or issues.

    This is a step in the right direction. Now to see if my provider will contact me “in the next few days.”

  72. I would love to hear if anybody was able to log on in York Pa. Or are we all locked out ? I’m considering trying a different email account. Anybody ?

  73. I am enrolled now as well. Like Jim & Mike, I had to change plans to “unlock” first. I was then able to re-select my preferred plan. The whole user interface is different. My cost also dropped from $269 to $191. Check out my bill. Look at the last digit!!!!!!! Thanks everyone!

    Submit Payment to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
    Customer Service:
    Amount Due: $191.1300000000001

    Your plan will confirm your final premium

  74. Once again, I had the same experience as Jim in VB. My first completion of the ToDo list was 19 days ago, and since then I’ve been retrying the locked Review and Confirm step every couple days, to no effect. But tonight (1 a.m. CDT) I finally was able to get to the Congratulations and payment notice page, and healthcare.gov says I’ve completed the enrollment and I’ll be hearing from the carrier in a few days.

    Like Jim, I unlocked Review and Confirm by changing my selected plan to a slightly different one. In my case, it was from one Blue Cross Illinois plan to another BCI plan. I’ve been going back and forth between these 2 plans for the past couple weeks to unlock the process, but this time it finally moved forward..

    I didn’t do anything different tonight than what I’ve done previously. So, I doubt it had anything to do with the specific plan change, or the hour I chose to log on. The software people must have finally fixed the bug that was blocking me.

  75. Success? I went in and cancelled the one insurance company I had chosen (Optima), and selected Anthem/Blue Cross and was successful….I think. I got all the way to the “Pay for your Plan” selection and clicked on it and nothing further happened. There was a message at the top of that screen, however, that said the ins. co. would be contacting me within a few days concerning billing. I guess they don’t accept any payment via the gov’t website, which is OK I suppose. I have until Dec 15th to pay in order to be covered by 1 Jan 2014 anyway. I did log out and back in and it says I am enrolled, so if I’m contacted sometime next week to pay, then I guess I really am. I’ll post an update if that does in fact happen.

  76. On the local evening news here in Virginia Beach, one of the insurance companies, Optima, said that 38 people were enrolled. The station is trying to contact anyone in the local area who was successful in enrolling. I’ll be interested to find out if anyone enrolled utilizing the healthcare.gov site or if they did it via telephone or paper.

  77. Here in VA, I have been “locked” for the past week now. Also called the 800 line and they told me it was a glitch in the system that they were working on. I even tried to contact the insurance plan that I intended to sign up with and they told me they have not gotten any applications either through the website, but have gotten a large volume of calls from people who thought they did enroll, but actually have not.

  78. I also requested a paper application and received it in the mail about 3 weeks after the request. It’s my understanding that, even with the paper application, the information has to be entered into the web site – it will just be done on the other end by someone that works for the government. I’m not going to send in the paper application since I’d rather have control of my information and not be susceptible to input errors by a careless government employee.

  79. Here in Pa. it’s impossible to log on, even tho I set up an account weeks prior Oct 1. I had a brainy idea first week of Oct to call and ask for application to be sent to me. Later found the form to download. But, anyway I received form week later. I had intentions on calling info and applying online. Tried TWICE. Phone went dead ! Second time I could not understand the person ! Plus, I was starting to lose my cool.So, I sent “good ole USPS. Hated to do it, but, it couldn’t be worse. Still didn’t hear from them. Studied plans available for my zip in the meantime. Last night got on chat and asked them how long it would take and when I do hear from them…could I sign up for my plan over the phone. They couldn’t even answer that question ! They just told me that was a good question ! Yes, I’m one of those being dropped Dec 31st. Being one of the older folks applying (61) and an ongoing medical condition, this is very frustrating. OK, I feel better.

  80. I wonder if there is a common thread for all of us stuck in this “locked” state. When I first selected my coverage, I wanted to look at dental policies as well. Early on, there was a bug in the system, where once you selected dental, you could not remove it. This was fixed around Oct. 10. Did anyone else look at dental as well. I’m just wondering if this somehow is related to our predicament. Obama is claiming that many people are “enrolled”, but I have yet to see a screen shot from anyone that says “you are enrolled”!

  81. When I called the help line, they told me to wait for 3-14 days, once I entered the “locked” state. I am on day 14 today, and have heard nothing at all!

  82. Jim. You can’t really be surprised, can you? I’ve given up. It’s a joke. I’ll go back when I hear that it’s working…and I’m not holding my breath.

    In the mean time, I’ll be budgeting to pay the full (inflated) cost of my new, AHCA compliant policy in mid-December. For the extra $250/month I’ll have a higher deductible and will be getting coverage for maternity care, bariatric surgery, infertility treatments and eye care for children – none of which I want or need.

  83. It is approximately 11:30 a.m. here on the east coast and I have not received the promised phone call. I just went to the health care site, and it is down. Marvelous.

  84. I telephoned the hot line and told them where I was at in the process. They seemed as confused as I was and said that someone would telephone me within 48 hours to let me know what was going on. I’ll keep you posted if I find out anything.

  85. It is great to find a group of folks that in the same “locked” state as myself. I agree with Jim on the web site message. It is VERY confusing. The Aetna CEO was on CNBC, and stated that they have not seen any applications from healthcare.gov. When I called BCBS of Michigan, they had not seen any either. If they back-end of the system is as bad as front-end, we are in for a lot of trouble.

  86. Nothing new to report. I texted the online help today and was told that if my enrollment is “in progress” that I should wait until I hear from someone. Then I was told to contact someone via the toll-free number. It would be a lot better if there was a message that said something like, ”Your application has been sent to the XYZ insurance company and you will be contacted by them within X days to make payment arrangements.”, or something to that effect. I feel like I’m in limbo now and I’d be willing to bet that the insurance company has no idea who I am. I’ll give the telephone help line a call tomorrow and see what they have to say.

  87. Thanks, Lynne. I may try to refrain from trying again until next month. We should all be compensated for all the time we’ve wasted trying to enroll and as you so eloquently put it, being “beta testers” for this fiasco….ha-ha.

  88. Jim, even though I got the “Congratulations” message, the site still tells me that I’m not enrolled. The first five steps on the “Enroll To-Do List” page are blue areas with a clickable light blue box within that reads “CHANGE,” and the final step, “Review and confirm your coverage,” is gray and “LOCKED.” Nothing is clickable in the gray area.

    I did the same thing that you and Brandy did – clicked the box to change my choice of plan and was taken back to Review and Confirm if I changed the plan. If I don’t change the plan it just takes me back to the “Enroll To-Do List” page.

    On the “Enroll To-Do List” page I have a red box that reads: “Review your Application Details in your Marketplace account to resolve any outstanding issues with your application. Issues with your application must be resolved to keep your coverage.”

    Clicking on that takes me to the “Application Details” page which shows that my application is complete.

    My feeling is that the web site should be taken down and be relaunched when it works. There are way too many people wasting their time trying to get enrolled when it appears to be an impossibility.

  89. I did the same thing, Brandy. Thought I’d outsmart the system and get back my green box, but got only as far as you did. You’ll see on here that another beta tester, Lynne, actually got the “Congratulations” page, but her insurance company has no idea who she is. I wish there was a way to circumvent this and have our insurance company verify a subsidy if we have one and then deal with us directly. Alas, they need to verify that, which is totally understandable. They’re not about to bill someone $75 a month on a $650 a month policy, and I can hardly blame them.

  90. I completely understand. Went back in and figured how to get my green box back. I deselected my plan and selected it again. But yet I get all the way to the end and when I confirm everything it tells me to please wait and the page does nothing. Frustrated but will keep trying until I get that congratulations…

  91. Rats! Another blow to the groin, Lynne. After receiving the “Congratulations” message, what did you see after that? If you log in, does it show that you’re enrolled? I thought for sure I was getting closer. Oh well. You got further along than I did. I do find some solace in that my insurance company has at least signed up about two dozen lucky folks. The hangup does seem to be that the insurance companies aren’t receiving ANYTHING from the healthcare.gov website. They certainly need to know what, if any, subsidy will be paid to them so they know what to bill the individual for.

  92. I got the “Congratulations” message, but it doesn’t seem to mean anything. I spoke to my insurance company this morning and was told that they haven’t received any enrollment information at all for anyone (from the healthcare.gov web site). Not one. I think we’re all just wasting our time.

    I’m really looking forward to hearing the enrollment numbers that the government is supposed to release in November. My guess is that they’re going to come up with some excuse for not releasing that information. As I read on another forum regarding all of this…DON’T THEY WORK FOR US and shouldn’t we DEMAND to be provided that information?

  93. We all share your pain, Brandy. I’m afraid to burst your bubble, but I spoke to someone on the help line, and they told me that if you are indeed “confirmed”, the next screen you see should say, “Congratulations…..” and then some more info. I think the “in progress” status we are seeing doesn’t mean that the insurance company we have chosen has our applications. I think it means that the enrollment process is what is in progress. I still see “You are not enrolled” when I log in, and yes, the bottom is greyed out and locked where you can confirm. I telephoned the insurance company I selected (Optima) and they did not see my application on their end. As of yesterday, a mere 24 people had been able to actually have their applications approved by Optima. Pitiful.

  94. I have the locked symbol too and I had gone through everything where it was going to have me sign and accept then when I would hit confirm it would cycle through and say please wait. It still did nothing. I didn’t have time to mess with this and so I told myself, “I’ll come back later.” Came back later and it says its locked. I talked to a live chat person that seemed to give me the basic response of “there are many people on this website and we are trying to fix the glitches etc.” I was never able to look at my eligibility results but could go straight to the enrollment process. I never saw anything about a payment. At the end of mine, it told me how much it would cost after the subsidy was taken off so I’m still waiting like everyone else….I try not to get so frustrated after what happened earlier this month and ripping hair out just trying to get through. Maybe it is locked because they have to process the application to the insurance you/we chose? Maybe after you signed it locks the system so you cannot go back and send it multiple times? It’s super frustrating that’s for sure.
    At the very end of my page I had where it told me my plan and how much it was…then I had to accept a statement and type my name. Then it kept telling me to please wait…and now it’s locked.
    I’m really honestly thinking that even though I didn’t see a confirmation that my application is being processed and once it is, my family will be enrolled. HOPEFULLY. but I’m not counting on it.

  95. I am still at the same place in the process. I hit the “Confirm” button and then…nothing. The site puts me back to the same page. I am watching the local news here in Virginia Beach and they reported that only 28 people have been able to sign up for health care at Optima, one of the insurers on the exchange. I spoke to someone at Optima and they handle the applications as they’re received, but there is a problem with getting them in their system. They need to know the amount of subsidies so they know what the individual will be billed. That information is not being passed along, so the enrollment can’t take place. I will keep plugging along.

  96. I used to be a database manger. One of our programmers used to say of creating a relational database, “You have three choices: cheap, fast, good. Pick 2.” Fast and good won’t be cheap. Cheap and good won’t be fast. Finally, cheap and fast won’t be good. Guess what the government chose? To the tune of 400 million dollars, I might add.

  97. It seems every time I come back to the site, I have to delete cookies and whatnot, for whatever reason. Even then, the site is still quite iffy – not allowing me to view saved plans, long delays, and general yuckiness.

    At one point, I wonder, are the people trying to sign up no longer “idiots” and the smart people realize this is a badly, badly designed and executed site that is causing real problems for the Affordable Care Act.

  98. I have only a MacBook Pro, Lynne and had to delete cookies and history before being able to finally log in a few days ago. I also use the Safari browser. Twelve plans in 15 days for Optima tells me that it must be a problem on their end, which is why I can never confirm my coverage. Let’s hope everyone doesn’t take a week off and try again along with the two of us!

  99. I feel your pain, Jim.

    Believe it or not, the healthcare.gov site works best for me on my iPad. I can’t get anything at all using Firefox on my MacBook Pro (I get a blank white page after logging in, just like the millions of other people I’ve been reading about). The site also works using Safari browser on my MacBook, which is the only way I was able to upload documents.

    I’m also giving up for at least another week. You know the definition of insanity…

  100. Just saw on the local evening news that Optima, one of the health care providers here in Virginia, had just 12….yes 12 people sign up in the first 15 days. No wonder I’m having problems. Today I am unable to get to the Get Insurance page. Normally I can get to the page that says to “Resume Enrollment”. I think I’ll give it a rest for about a week before trying again.

  101. Appreciate the feedback, Mike. I have also filed my income taxes online for the last several years. If you stop the process, you save your data and when you log back in, you can pick up where you left off. I do feel for the folks who have to field questions from us beta testers (thanks for that Lynne) because they aren’t the ones who created this Frankenstein site, but they’re bearing the brunt of our collective frustration. The government should have hired the designers of Amazon or Ebay or H&R Block. Their sites seem to work across all types of web browsers with no problems. Oh well, we’ll all muddle through it eventually, I hope. In about a year and a half I’m eligible for Medicare, so this will all be a memory by then. This experience will be one of those “I remember when” moments like the Y2K scare…ha-ha.

  102. Jim and Lynne, thank you both for posting about your post-confirmation experiences and the followup you tried to do. I’m in the same boat, i.e. it says “you’re not enrolled yet” even though I successfully went through the whole to do list and what I thought was the final confirmation. I don’t have any new insights, but I’m glad to hear other people are equally flustered. I’m not crazy after all! (but at this rate, it won’t be long…)

    If the ball is truly in the insurer’s court, I wish healthcare.gov had the courtesy to tell me so. As Allison posted last week, what’s needed is a clear process flow, just a simple graphic on their home page would do the trick.

    By the way, I’ve been doing my state income taxes online for years, and that site is very clear about what steps you’ve finished and which ones you still need to do. At the end you get a confirmation #, advice to print out the page for your records, and a have-a-nice-day. Is that too much to ask?

  103. Great. Yeah, I thought the same thing. Unless you scroll down to find it, you don’t see the link. Maybe you’ll have success now. At least most of these things seem to be speed bumps rather than road blocks. I may clean up my browser again tomorrow morning to see if I can finally confirm my selection.

  104. Hey, wow, that worked … I’m slowly making my way through things.

    You’d think healthcare.gov’s help chat would have told me that when I described the problem I was having!

  105. Tony, look on the first page and you should see a link for “Trouble Logging In.” It takes you through deleting history, cookies, etc. I did that and was finally able at least to log in. The fun is just starting, however, sad to say.

  106. My update: Since finally being able to create an account on October 8, I have seen nothing but a white screen when i try to log in – several times each a day.

  107. I was trying to confirm again, to no avail. So I logged out and when I went to log back in, I received this message: “You don’t have permission to access “http://eidm.cms.gov/oam/server/authentication?” on this server.” Oh, really? I’ve been on this site all day long. I’d laugh if it wasn’t so pathetic. Maybe tomorrow? As Scarlett O’Hara said, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

  108. I don’t recall ever seeing that. I felt like I had won a video game when I was finally able just to log on! From what I’ve read, there were several contractors working on various portions of this thing. Yes, we are indeed fellow beta testers. Some of the error messages are a total waste. They don’t tell you what is wrong or how to correct it. Apparently some portions of it do, so someone knew what they were doing. I think I may now be stuck with the insurance company’s not confirming my enrollment and sending back a message to the site informing me of same. I may end up calling the insurance company tomorrow and finding out if they show that I signed up. I’ll post again if I’m even the least little bit successful.

  109. I’ve been doing exactly what you’ve been doing. My best guess is that we aren’t officially enrolled until our first payment has been received. Just guessing. Did you also get that green box that said “Congratulations!” and “Success” or something to that effect?

    Mine also still shows that I’m not enrolled and the final step, “Review and Confirm,” shows the lock.

    Good luck to you also, fellow beta tester.

  110. Thanks, Lynne. I tried to fake out the site and I de-selected my plan and then selected it again. Still was unable to actually confirm my plan. I put a check in the box and hit “Confirm” and it kept taking me back to the same page. I gave up and when I went back in, it still shows that I am not enrolled and the ability to confirm is still locked. I was able to get someone on the phone and they hadn’t seen this problem before, and I was told to, you guessed it, “Keep trying!” I’ll give it a few days and then go back and see what’s up. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you that you get a bill with the subsidy applied. Good luck.

  111. Jim, I spoke to my insurance company again this morning (after being on hold for 40 minutes) and was told that the online payment system isn’t functional yet. They also told me that they (insurance company) should receive my enrollment and subsidy information from the government web site and that they (insurance company) should be sending me a bill in the mail (with subsidy applied) sometime in December. I was told that it won’t be necessary for me to pay online and that I will receive the bill in the mail if I don’t pay online.

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m choosing to believe this. My gut is telling me that I’ll receive the bill but it won’t have the subsidy applied.

  112. Lynne, I got to the same point in the process as well. I never saw anything about making an initial payment to anyone. The site tells me that I’m not enrolled and I also see that the Review and Confirm has the same Locked symbol. The chat person was of no help at all. They must have a button they hit that gives you the same old “lots of visitors….keep trying….blah, blah, blah” even if it doesn’t pertain to your particular problem.

  113. Managed to get through the entire process, picked a plan, saw the cost with subsidy applied, reviewed and confirmed coverage (final step of the “To-Do List”) and now the final step (review and confirm) shows a picture of a lock and reads “LOCKED.” The top of the page tells me that I’m not enrolled yet, but it doesn’t tell me why. All steps are completed as far as I can tell. I have no clue as to what I’m supposed to do now.

    An employee at my insurance company told me that I was supposed to have been prompted to make my initial payment through the HealthCare.gov web site. The workers on the chat line and phone support at HealthCare.gov told me that my insurance company is supposed to send me a bill in the mail. Conflicting information, with no definitive answer available anywhere that I can find.

    It seems that NOBODY even KNOWS how this entire process is even SUPPOSED TO work.

    My biggest fear is that I will be billed by my insurance company for the full monthly cost without the subsidy applied for the coverage starting on January 1. If the web site isn’t functioning by mid-November, how can they expect people to pay the unsubsidized cost? My insurance company isn’t going to care if the web site isn’t functioning – they’ll just want me to pay the entire cost.

  114. OMG just got thru to healthcare.gov it took a week and i feel sick. I only make 2,500 a month after my mortgage payment my car payment and food and misc 1 small credit card nothing owed on it thank god, theres not enough to pay for this premium of 600.00 a month I cant get to work without a car and i need gas and food to eat and toiletries the lowest policy was 520.00 a month but I cant afford the deductable OMG I really feel sick seeing this I believe it but then again i cant believe it.

  115. If you put a user name in and go thru all the stuff to register I get unavalible at this time try again now second time same info entered and then it says user name already exist. I change the user name that no one would use again first time it says unavalible at this time try again try again then when I retry it says user name exist try again ive used letters numbers of all kinds always samething so if you put the info in the system seems to actually reconise the name that was never allowed then counts it as a name already in use. this is screwed up.

  116. All I can say is that it worked well for me, to just get through the application phase of the process itself. True it does not get you to the actual plans to choose from. But I also found on the bottom of that “holding page” (I think) that you can click right into a spreadsheet that lists every plan for every county in the country. It provides a lot of basic info: company, plan levels offered, premiums for several different examples of applicants. You can rather quickly see how many providers there are in your area, and pretty much figure out which ones you’d be interested in getting details on. No, it’s not perfect – but if you’re like me, paying nearly $10,000 annually for insurance, it’s worth working through it however you can. I guess I was lucky to get well-trained reps.

  117. No, it isn’t viable. I like to make informed decisions and if I can’t look at my options and compare them, then I can’t make an informed decision. Sure, they can apply for me, but they can’t send me the paperwork to look over, and therein lies the problem.

    I called them today, and this was their response.

  118. I guess that was not the Sport model. And please Mr. Holt, abide by this blog’s ever so high standards of courtesy and refrain from unproductive name calling. Thank you.

  119. Let’s see…..system built to handle max of 60,000 unique users. Number was extrapolated from Medicare Script Plan??? Good idea. we are opening the Insurance system to 300,000,000 people. Good logic. And these sub-par federal beurocrats are going to manage the Health Care of our Country.

    Dont get sick…it will kill you.

    From my generation to those 35 or under. I am sorry we left you with such ignorant corrupt officials in government. Our bad, but yours to fix. Remember, DEMS/GOP are OPPOSAMES, No difference. Watch your liberty fade, big brother will watch and you will find yourself in a dictatorship before you know it. I will be gone and dead, but I apologize for all of us baby boomers. WE DID HAVE FUN…WE just forgot to be responsible and passionate about what our parents left for us.

    If you let this health care system become effective, you will never be able to go back to quality care. Stay healthy, grow your own food, get off the grid. lay low form communes. Arm yourself

  120. Really? I don’t think it’s at all comparable. If you have a pre-existing condition and have specialists that you’ve seen for awhile, it only makes sense that you would want to see what your options are sooner rather than later.

  121. Matthew –

    As a family, we are eager to see what our options are for 2014 and to begin comparison shopping for a variety of reasons:

    1. We want to know what the potential cost is for next year, so we can begin making decisions (stay on COBRA through end of year? get new plan? which one?).

    2. Once we see what plans are available and at what costs, we need to see if our doctors are on those plans. We have to coordinate care and coverage among oncologists, neurologists, primary care physicians and others. That will take time, as will finding new specialists if it comes down to it.

    I apologize if trying to #GetCovered and making informed decisions in the face of complicating health variables makes me an idiot.


  122. Don’t waste your time. It is a joke. I spent 3 hours and have been denied for coverage in the State of Colorado. This is only for wealthy people and not for low income self-employed workers.

  123. Yes Matthew you have until the end of December to buy but what happens in January when you get sick. If the site is having problems with just looking at the different plans, what happens when they try to verify your insurance in January. I do not want to sign up now until I can look at all the options and compare the different plans. Every other site, e-bay, amazon, etc. lets you look at the different items being offered without verifying all you information. I heard that Kentucky is letting you look at the different plans with out registering and they are not having a log jam.
    In January and February, when a hospital or doctor’s office tries to verify your insurance, are they also going to have this problem. I guess we will not know until then. I am afraid because so many things are going to fall thru the cracks when people are seeking medical care.

  124. Ann-

    I also have experienced everything covered in this blog AND have stayed up through the wee hours of the morning as well – with no luck either!

    What I find interesting is that the website “help” refers you to the 1-800 number “help” and vice versa! And, although, I’ve run across a few really nice “help” people; for the most part they’ve been kind of snarky to me!

    I would love it if there were some place to look to SEE what the whole process looks like – and a realistic timeline for each step of that process (although I realize the timeline part may be practically impossible right now!).

    All I’ve been able to accomplish (if you can call it that!) is speaking to someone on the 1-800 line and getting “some” part of the process done – but I don’t really even understand which part that was!

    Ugh! I just want to get this over with. Couldn’t we have done any of this via paper applications we picked up at the post office or something??!!?? Who’s bright idea was this to do this via the internet???!!!???

  125. You remind me of the idiot buying the very firt model of a car. Give them a few week to figure it out. You have until end of December to buy. It’ll work by then

  126. Yes I have experienced everything covered in this blog. I have tried Live Chat. What a joke! I also have tried the phone number when I was having problems logging on. The person on the phone did not have access to log in information. I am sick of hearing try later when it is not busy. I tried to at 5 AM yesterday but it was closed for maintenance.
    I do not want to apply over the phone. I want to see what is available and compare them. I guess that is not possible.

  127. See Bob’s post above for a pretty good take on what may be going on

  128. Thanks Penny D. .. but for those of us just looking for a quote … why should that require all the above hassle and waiting two weeks (more or less). Just give me the names of the insurance companies offering insurance in my state via the exchange, I’m fairly sure THEY will respond to me in a much shorter time frame.

    Building a massive “state of the art” cloud based responsive system to process the exchange should NOT include the “viable workaround” of talking to an individual on the phone who simply says “try again later at off peak times”. OR requests a bunch of info NO ONE self employed or employed with several part time jobs,-(many of those currently without insurance= are going to have readily available!

  129. Everyone should be aware that if you call the number 1-800-318-2596 you can speak to a representative (yes, a very helpful person, not a machine) and actually APPLY over the phone. Even though they are having the very same website difficulties the rest of the country is, this is a viable work-around. Just be sure you have enough of your income information to answer their questions. It helps if you know all your sources of income, and it doesn’t hurt to have your 2012 tax return in hand. They will mail your paperwork to you (supposedly within about two weeks). NOTE: When they ask you about deductions, they are not referring to deductions you may have taken on your tax return. Check the internet for what the ACA is referring to, which are special deductions they have come up with to arrive at “Modified Adjusted Gross Income”, or MAGI. Also, get the name of the person you are speaking to, so you know who to thank when you are done, or just in case you get cut off!