Thursday, April 24, 2014

Adventures with ObamaCare...

Adventures with ObamaCare...  So yesterday I sat down with a local (to Utah) health insurance agent (Sam), and went over my options.  Our timing on this is driven by both our move to Utah and the fact that my COBRA coverage (on my former employer's plan) is expiring in July.  Sam went over several available plans, all of which were both considerably less expensive and better (lower deductibles and caps) than anything I found in California.  He then advised me to create an account on the federal ObamaCare site (, as that would be the simplest way for me to see all the plans available to me.

We went through the initial signup together.  It was fairly straightforward: we entered my email address, a password, and provided the answers to three security questions.  One of those questions asked for a date that was significant to me.  We chose a date and entered it as "mm/dd" (with a numeric month and day supplied instead of the letters).  Then the site told us that I'd be getting an email to validate my email address within 24 hours.  Sam told me what would happen after that, we shook hands and I left.

Later that day, I did get the validation email.  It had a link to click on to validate my email address.  I clicked, and instantly got a screen telling me that the server could not be contacted, and to try again later.  This morning I tried it again, and this time it worked.  Progress!

Then the site led me through a process to verify my identity.  This all worked fine until we got to the part where it asked me three security questions.  When I typed in the answer to the "significant date" question, an error immediately popped up telling me that my entry was invalid.  WTF?  I played around a bit with different values, and quickly found out that the "/" was causing that error.


The ObamaCare site let me enter the answer initially as "mm/dd", but then when it was asking me the question again to verify my identity, it wouldn't allow the "/".  That means it is impossible for me to enter an answer that matches what I initially entered – and that means I always fail the identity verification.  And, naturally, that means I can't do anything else with my health insurance.

I've turned that problem over to Sam for resolution.  I hope he's got some trick up his sleeve, because I'm not seeing any way out of this Catch-22 situation.

My out-of-box experience with ObamaCare is bad.  I have fears that this won't end well...

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