Chat with someone who can help

Normally I don’t keep harping on the same thing for too long – most people find that annoying.  In the case of healthcare.gov however, I can’t help it.  The solution is just too unbelievable to not comment on.

So the last time I tried to get help, I used the live chat option and the person wasn’t very helpful – see my last update here.  Regardless of their helpfulness quotient I decided to follow their directions and wait “a day or two” and try again.

I waited several days just to be sure and tried logging into my account that I had created on Day 1.  Still no luck.  I couldn’t login, couldn’t reset my password, nothing.  I decided that maybe that account was just too corrupted so I created another one.  This time I received a confirmation email with a link in it.  I clicked the link and I got a page that told me it was processing my request and that this could “take a few moments”.

After about a minute another box appeared below the processing box informing me that I “…didn’t check my email fast enough…” and the confirmation email has expired.  OF COURSE I DID – I clicked on the confirmation email to get to the page that is now telling me I didn’t click on that link!

So back to the live chat – let’s see how that went:

[11:40:41 am]: Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help.

[11:40:45 am]:  Please be patient while we’re helping other people.

[11:40:51 am]: Welcome! You’re now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.

Thanks for contacting us. My name is Emelia. To protect your privacy, please don’t provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.

[11:43:45 am]: Ernest

I’m not able to login. I setup an account and it says my password doesn’t match so I hit the forgot password link and that process can’t find my profile.

[11:43:55 am]: Ernest

Can you check my account for me?

[11:44:22 am]: Emelia

I apologize for the inconvenience, we actually have a lot of visitors trying to use our website right now. That is causing some glitches and technical issues for some people trying to create accounts, log in, and finish applications. We encourage you to keep trying, and thanks for your patience. . We are continuously working to improve the site so you can get covered!

[11:45:11 am]: Ernest

So I got that answer last week and I waited a couple days, tried to create an entirely new account and still no luck. I figured since I saw a commercial on TV last night it would work.

[11:45:32 am]: Ernest

Is there no way to check my account to see what’s wrong? I just have to keep waiting?

[11:46:40 am]: Emelia

Unfortunatley yes, I do apologize for that. But even if we did have access to check your account, it is still having technical issues so it would give us the same message you are recieving.

[11:47:32 am]: Ernest

OK – thanks. I’ll keep waiting.

[11:48:05 am]: Emelia

Thank you for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

[11:48:52 am]: Emelia

Also keep in mind, you do have the option for a paper application to be mailed to you, or in-person assistance

[11:50:14 am]: Ernest

No thanks – mail is touchy and slow. I guess I’ll just wait.

As you can see – the people that man the chat window that is labeled

Chat with someone who can help

can’t actually help at all.  They simply tell me the same thing over and over again. 

What I find really interesting is I saw a TV commercial last night encouraging me to go to healthcare.gov and “…get covered…” which was followed by a local news report from an insurance broker who pointed out that “…even when you get in, the process is long and confusing…”  He said that the paper process actually seems to take 1/2 the time of the online process.

So let’s re-cap.  We spent almost $400M of tax-payer money to build a website that doesn’t work more than a week after it’s launch and the solution is to enroll via paper?  

Just another one of those things that makes you go hmmmmmmmm.

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