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Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:27 PM

Definite Problems with Obamacare Website (Yes, I know it isn't a Shock.)

Today I worked on getting my brother-in-law signed up; I am the Computer Geek in the family so I was tasked with getting him signed up.

First things first - creating an account.

Step 1: https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/global/en_US/registration#signUpStepOne

First Name, Middle Name (optional), Last Name, Suffix (optional) - okay.
Select State (drop down worked) - okay.
Enter email twice - okay.

Step 2: https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/global/en_US/registration#signUpStepTwo (italics are me)

Create Username: Directions - The username is case sensitive. Choose a username that is 6-74 characters long and must contain a lowercase or capital letter, a number, or one of these symbols _.@/- <-- see how I made those required symbols bold? The website did not. If I hadn't read someone else's story, I wouldn't have known I needed both Upper and Lower case, AND a number AND a symbol.

Password (to be entered twice): Directions - Your password must contain 8-20 characters. There must be at least 1 upper case letter, 1 lower case letter, and 1 number. It must be different from your last 6 passwords. It can't contain your username or any of these characters = ?<> ( ) " / \ & <-- see how I made those required symbols bold? The website did not. See previous comment about creating the username; if I hadn't read someone else's story, I wouldn't have known I needed both Upper and Lower case, AND a number AND a symbol. Also, I screwed up, and used a '$' the first time, which the website took, which I thought it shouldn't.

Step 3: https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/global/en_US/registration#signUpStepThree

Security Questions -- Okay, this is where things really got ugly. The instructions say "The answers to your security questions must contain letters or numbers and can't be longer than 30 characters. The following special characters are allowed, as long as they follow a letter or number. This means that your answers can't start with one of these characters, apostrophe ('), hyphen (-), spaces, period (.)." I answered the questions, and the account didn't create. I went through the steps multiple times, and then used the on-line chat; I think the person was confused, because they advised me to call Experian. I did this, and got nowhere. Then I called the "call this number" and we spent over half an hour as they tried to figure out how to deal with the fact I am helping my brother-in-law (who is a "protected person"). We finally decided we would just take him to one of the "authorized in person folks" which is when magically, I suddenly received a bunch of emails saying the account had been created.

Except the link took me to an "error page" and I screwed around a little bit more trying to figure it out.

I walked away for a bit, and an hour later tried again. This time I was able to login (not sure how or why this time was different), and I input the requested information. There were some challenges (mostly solved by login-and-logout options), and then I hit the Magic SUBMIT button - and nothing happened.

So I hit it again. Three more times. I now have three messages saying the results are in, and I can't figure out how to get to them. The link takes you to a login page; I've logged in, and have three messages "You have a notice available about your Marketplace eligibility." with no obvious links to actually view the results. (Maybe because they are busy?) Any link that says "results" takes you to a PDF about insurance, and the "Login" status changes on the different screens (but you are still logged in from the initial one).

I am a computer professional, and I want to smack someone for this. I am embarrassed for my profession. Some of this is NOT rocket science - it is basic web development (provide user a message saying information has been received - duh!).

I am looking forward to the results, but yes, it is frustrating.

And even with this complete "SERIOUSLY?!?!?!" nonsense with the website, this is still a billion times better than my brother-in-law's only other option (due to his pre-existing medical condition and low income status):

"Please Just Die Quietly."

But seriously, on the website.

Shaking my head.....

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Reply Definite Problems with Obamacare Website (Yes, I know it isn't a Shock.) (Original post)
IdaBriggs Nov 2013 OP
IdaBriggs Nov 2013 #1

Response to IdaBriggs (Original post)

Wed Nov 6, 2013, 08:18 AM

1. UPDATE: The secret seems to be "wait an hour between each major step"

which seems stupid, but worked. I was eventually able to view the results at around 9:00 p.m. last night (we have to jump through some hoops to appeal his Medicaid eligibility), but there are 50 plans for him to choose from.

Since he is currently unemployed with no unemployment benefits, he can't afford any of them.

Like I said, it isn't perfect, but it feels like a start.

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