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Navigating the Obamacare Marketplace Labyrinth

The efficiency of the DMV combined with the intrusiveness of the NSA and the credit bureau. More: IT Experts Weigh In on Obamacare System

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

October 5, 2013 - 5:40 am
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Having followed the debate over the Affordable Care Act fairly closely over the last few years, I was curious about the insurance plans being offered under the federal exchange in Ohio. Actual hard numbers have been hard to come by; it seems like they’ve been a more closely guarded secret than the codes to launch the nation’s nuclear warheads. I tried to log on to the site on October 1st, the day the “Marketplace” launched, but after several unsuccessful attempts, I gave up. Today I decided to try again.

I went to www.healthcare.gov and chose “Ohio” from the drop-down menu. Just like visiting a government agency in person, I found that I would be required to wait in line — albeit a virtual line. Take a virtual number.

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After about 30 minutes, I finally made my way to the front of the line. My number was called and I was invited to create an account — a user name and password. The instructions said that the user name and password were case sensitive. I followed the instructions and checked my email for the link to authenticate the new account and then tried to sign in. The system did not recognize my user name and password. I knew they were correct because I had copied and pasted them into my clipboard so I’d have them handy. I tried a couple more times, but each time I was greeted by a message saying that the information I had entered was invalid.

 

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Top Rated Comments   
Paula writes, "Why should consumers be required to connect to the IRS, DHS, and the credit bureau in order to shop for insurance on the federal healthcare exchange?"
If you want a photo ID required for voting, you're a racist and trying to suppress minority voting.
Discuss.

41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the Republicans were smart, they'd highlight the risk to privacy and identity theft as reasons for the one year delay. Do you expect such a clusterfark of a roll out to keep your private information private?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
When I go shopping for clothes and food, I figure I may wander into the store, look over the products and prices, and stroll out with or without buying anything.

I've never had a shopping experience for a supposedly affordable and supposedly vital product or service in which I had to produce a credit card and driver's license just to get in the door. All with a note that the feds were watching me in the dressing room.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (32)
All Comments   (32)
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Civil disobedience?

If enough people simply refuse to register..... This thing will undoubtedly collapse. The question is: Are there enough of us willing to take that risk?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I know I am certainly not enrolling in this clusterfark.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, at least they're not asking what political party you belong to . . . yet.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Maybe Michael Moore was right after all when he said the Cuban medical system was better that the American one. He was just ahead of his time that's all.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Michael Moore has never been right about anything in his big fat life.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
So the only way to sign up for ObamaCare is with a computer, on-line? Weren't we told that this health coverage is for people too destitute and too poor to buy their own insurance? As in, unemployed or unemployable, as in illiterate, or non-English-speaking. As in, how the hell can they afford a computer and an internet connection and not be able to afford to buy insurance or pay a doctor?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"As in, how the hell can they afford a computer and an internet connection and not be able to afford to buy insurance or pay a doctor?"

Or get an ID card so they can vote.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
One can go to the Medicare website and look at and compare the offerings and costs of the Advantage plans in all the counties in all the states.

All without giving any personal information.

So isn't it curious that that kind of information cannot be provided to the Obamacare victims?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Am I the only one appalled at the intrusive questions?

I've seen this once, when I applied for a job at Megabank. "Are you the itellu3times who lived on Alabama Avenue?" the voice on the phone asked. WHAT avenue? Um, waitaminute, I have not thought about it for THIRTY YEARS but, yes, for a short time back when I did indeed. WTF? I'm sure they could come up with questions like that which I could not answer. If they had asked me, "what was your address 30 years ago" I could not have come up with the answer offhand, and possibly not with research. OMG. "Are you the itellu3times who took Suzy home after six shots of tequilla?" Er, ... could you show me a picture?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hate those questions. Really? They want me to remember how much my car payment was the year I graduated from college? I can't remember how much my mortgage payment was last month! It's all a good reminder that the credit bureaus -- and the government -- know a LOT about us. Not a happy thought.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
My cousin who works for the NSA says your car payment was $139.95/mo and your mortgage payment is $1,222.45/mo. He also says your first cousin once removed on your mom's side, Chuck, is on a terror watch list for contributing $100 to Ted Cruz in the last election, so I wouldn't stand too close to him at your next Christmas family get together.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
LOL, all correct except the it's a first cousin once removed on my DAD's side!
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
And if there is a Republican on either my mom or dad's side of the family, it's a better kept secret than these Obamacare rates in Ohio! :)
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Trust the government with your health and personal information? Remember: This is the same government that used the IRS to punish its political enemies and that are holding our national parks we entrusted to them hostage until they get the money they demand. Just think what they'll be able to do with the discretion to decide who to threat and when, and the personal info of hundreds of millions of Americans.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment

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This is so going to become my standard email reply message...
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I meant to add that the uninsured mandate starts Jan 1 2014 for those not insured. Also, I am an insurance broker and you can't imagine the hassle involved in certifying for the market place. If I don't certify and get a writing no. the present clients may be lost to me if they have to go to the marketplace. And as far as I can tell so far, if they want to get a subsidy, they have to go to the "marketplace". What a misnomer.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama may have to give that individual mandate delay whether he wants to or not since there is a good chance that very few people will be able to sign up. Republicans just need to stand firm.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
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