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 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 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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