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My experience trying to get rates from Obamacare
10/16/2013 | Vanity

Posted on 10/16/2013 7:20:30 AM PDT by VideoPaul

Like everyone, I'm eventually going to need to see a doctor. Something is eventually going to go wrong with me and I'll need someone to fix it. My employer's health insurance rates go up every year. And our president has spent the last five and a half years promising affordable health care...and that insurance rates would go down if we'd just enact this sweeping change to the medical system in America.

It was with these facts in mind that I decided to see what rates I could get from Mr. Obama's vaunted "affordable Care Act" and its online presence, "Healthcare dot gov".

It's day 15 of this process and I decided to start telling the story of my journey so far. In the interest of full and fair disclosure, I'm a member of the broadcast news media and have been for the last almost 30 years. Because my employer, at least for the time being, offers health care coverage, this isn't a necessary thing, but rather a journey of curiosity. And if the lowered premiums and affordable care that Mr. Obama has been promising us actually materializes as a result of this legislation, I'll take advantage of it. Further goading me into action was the story of some poor guy who allegedly got a threatening E-mail when he declined to buy what he was offered, threatening suspended driving privileges, garnishment of money directly from bank accounts, and even jail time. I really want to see if I get one of those letters, which I will be more than happy to post if it arrives.

The only limits I placed on this is a daily one hour time limit. After that point, I get up and walk away no matter what little has happened, and wait until the next day to try some more. It’s saved me from having to replace at least six computer monitors.

As of day 15, I haven't been able to see any rates at all.

On the first four days of Obamacare, I was unable to get in at all on the web site, getting the various error messages such as "Unexpected Error. Error ID: " and the all too familiar please wait while we connecting you message.

On day five, I was able to get in to submit a user name and password, which was then unable to complete within the system. The next day I managed to enter that information and was told to wait for an E-mail, which came two days later. On subsequent days, I was able to get the system to accept one or two bits of information, such as what state I live in, before the system faulted out and wouldn't take any more. Every day I did a little bit more. I have taken advantage of the "live chat" sessions every time I run into a roadblock, on the off chance that I have done something wrong. Every time I get the same, sometimes character for character identical response telling me that there are "glitches" and to please be patient. At what point we cross the line between "glitches" and "utter system failure" is unclear, but I think it's safe to say that we've long since passed that demarcation.

This past Monday, I was able to get in and see my "profile", which told me that my identity couldn't be verified despite giving the system 100% accurate information. I have had exactly two addresses since 1996, and I file my taxes every year. The government is very fully well aware of who I am. In addition, previous work in law enforcement means that my fingerprints and identity are well ensconsed with various state police agencies, as well as the FBI through my certification for access to the NCIC computer system. I hold a valid United States passport. I have various licenses issued by the federal government as well. Yes, the government is exceptionally well aware of who I am, where I live, and how to find me.

So when the system told me that my identity couldn't be verified, I was more than puzzled as to why this might be. I would be the world's worst fugitive. I'm still using the same name given to me at birth several decades ago. The same social security number and date of birth have always been associated with this. Having received White House press credentials to cover appearances by presidents and vice-presidents in the past and having gotten these clearances, I know that the government has in the past been able to ascertain that I am who I say I am with no "glitches" whatsoever.

So, I scanned and uploaded an image of my driver's license, which the system listed as an acceptable identity document. I was somewhat impressed last night when I logged in for my hour of fun and say “verification in progress”. Feeling brave, I went and filled in page after page after page of deeply personal, many would say intrusive, information about myself and my family. I have had health insurance al my life and started buying it for myself decades ago. I have never, until now, been asked for my income, and I have never been asked to disclose my race. I’ve never been asked if anyone in my family doesn’t live with me. It’s been a real head-scratcher the entire time, but I’m willing to go through the motions to be able to accurately report one guy’s journey through this system.

This morning I logged in and “verification in progress” had turned into “Identity couldn’t be verified”. I tried to look at the application that I spent an hour filling out the night before and found that all of this information has also disappeared. There was a clickable link that said “verify your identity: which took me, repeatedly, to a blank page with the healthcare dot gov logo and a logout button, and all of the site map, privacy policy and other promotional items, including the obligatory White House web site links at the bottom, but otherwise a blank page.

Once again, I fired up the “Live Chat” whose wait time has, credit where it’s due, fallen from 45 minutes to almost instant connection with someone. However, the banner at the top of the chat box that says “Talk to someone who can help” is false advertising at its finest. Not once has anyone on the live chat solved anything—I just keep getting the same old “we apologize for the inconvenience” stock line.

This morning, I was told again that the system had “glitches” and was told again to try the phone number instead, which I had been offered before but declined to do. I called the call center and got connected to someone who told me that I’d have to talk to Experian. Yes, Experian, the credit score people. Grilled on why a credit reporting agency is involved with health insurance, I was told that they are involved for “verification purposes only”.

Off I go to Experian. Why they are having a problem baffles me as well. Having bought homes three times in my life, the credit scoring rigmarole is all too familiar and every time I sit at a real estate closing, every shred of information about my credit has been verified and re-verified, and any inaccuracies or misunderstandings cleared up before a bank would transfer money for a home purchase. Yeah, Experian (and Trans union and Equifax) all know me really, really well. So this should be easy, right?


The Experian number prompts for a reference number, which the Obamacare web site hasn’t given me. When I admit that I don’t have a reference number, the call is terminated. Back on the phone I go to the Obamacare call center. The representative that I talked to tried to help but couldn’t explain why I hadn’t been given a reference number. I was chained up to a supervisor who couldn’t figure it out either. No one can help me, no one can get me a reference number and no one has anything but apologies and excuses. The bottom line, after the daily allotment of time to ride this bus to nowhere, was that there are system “glitches”, no one knows what’s wrong, no one knows how long it will take to fix it, and there’s nothing anyone can to do help me use this system and get health insurance rates. I actually used those exact words in that exact order and the supervisor’s response was, “Yes, unfortunately, that is all correct.” I was told by the representative before her that she takes call after call after call from people experiencing the same problems. Both asked me to ”wait a few days and try again”.

So, for fifteen days of effort and playing by their rules, I don’t have any more information about how much money I’ll save on my premiums than I did on October 1st. In fact, I’m further away since the identity verification failed and even my profile is losing information. When I looked at it this morning, the online profile has somehow forgotten what state I live in, and the supervisor was unable to find my file in their computer system.

I asked one of the people at the call center today why this system went live if it’s clearly not working, She admitted she didn’t have a good answer for that. So, like a lot of other Americans, I sit and wait to see what my (lower??) rates will be under Mr. Obama’s much hyped plan. You know, the one they won’t even consider stopping the individual mandate on even though after two weeks, it’s still not working.

Obamacare, whatever your opinion of it as a whole is, is not working, not ready, and no one knows when it will be. What we do know is that it’s considered “essential” during the fractional government shutdown, which means that we’re spending money we don’t have to run a system that doesn’t work.

I’ll post further updates when and if I get any real information from Obamacare.

TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: affordablecareact; failure; glitches; obamacare
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1 posted on 10/16/2013 7:20:30 AM PDT by VideoPaul
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To: VideoPaul

These same people are going to be the ones CONTROLLING our healthcare...encouraging.

2 posted on 10/16/2013 7:24:30 AM PDT by mountn man (The Pleasure You Get From Life Is Equal To The Attitude You Put Into It)
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To: VideoPaul
I don’t have any more information about how much money I’ll save on my premiums
"how much money I’ll save on my premiums" LOL ... now that's funny!
3 posted on 10/16/2013 7:25:21 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: oh8eleven

But that’s what Mr. Obama promised, I’m just going on what he said publicly and on the record. He wouldn’t lie to us, would he?

4 posted on 10/16/2013 7:32:10 AM PDT by VideoPaul
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To: VideoPaul

If the wait time on the Live Chat has fallen from 45 minutes to almost none, that tells me people are giving up and not even bothering to phone in for help.

5 posted on 10/16/2013 7:33:13 AM PDT by Shannon
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To: VideoPaul


If you were able to complete the ObamaCare form online, it wasn't a legitimate government website; you should report online fraud and change all your passwords.


6 posted on 10/16/2013 7:34:27 AM PDT by Heartlander (We are all Rodeo Clowns now!)
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To: oh8eleven

It never occurs to him that the Admin


7 posted on 10/16/2013 7:35:52 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: VideoPaul
Taxpayers were ripped off a staggering $634 million (that we know of) for setting-up the amateurish Obamacare sign-up web site----more than that of LinkedIn and Spotify combined-----the site already been shut down once for repairs....problems persist.

INCONVENIENT FACTOID one story surfaced last week that the same crew that got the contract for the ObamaCare website were former data/media/social media people from the Obama campaign.

INCONVENIENT FACTOID Toni Townes-Whitley, Senior Vice President at CGI Federal for Civilian Agency programs, is Princeton Class of 1985---same dumbed-down class as Michelle Obama. Both are members of Association of Black Princeton Alumni.


A GLIMPSE OF WHAT'S TO COME A November 30, 2012 report indicated the Insurance Exchanges will cost Twice What it Costs to Administer Medicare (NOT what the WH twit told Americans).

ONE STATE'S LAUNCH--- In March 2013 CATO.COM reported "The Cost to Launch the California Health Insurance Exchange is $910 million".

So far (2012) California has received $910 million in federal grants to launch its new health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). The California exchange, "Covered California," has so far awarded a $183 million contract to Accenture to build the website, enrollment, and eligibility system and another $174 million to operate the exchange for four years.

The state will also spend $250 million on a two-year marketing campaign. By comparison California Senator Barbara Boxer spent $28 million on her 2010 statewide reelection campaign while her challenger spent another $22 million.

The most recent installment of the $910 million in federal money was a $674 million grant. The exchange's executive director noted that was less than the $706 million he had asked for. "The feds reduced the 2014 potential payment for outreach and enrollment by about $30 million," he said. "But we think we have enough resources on hand to do the biggest outreach that I have ever seen."

For additional perspective....private insurance marketing site, Esurance sells not only health insurance but also things like homeowners and auto insurance across the put his zip code into their system along with his age, they offered him 87 different health plans from all the big players in my area.

Now granted, the new health insurance exchanges are more complex because they have to interface with Medicaid and the IRS as well as calculate subsidies. But the order of magnitude difference in what it cost to launch esurance compared to the California exchange is pretty big.

Privately funded Esurance began its multi-product national web business in 1998 with an initial $5.5 million round of venture fund investment in 1999 and a second round of $34 million a few months later.

The start-up experience of other major web companies is also instructive. Facebook received $13.7 million to launch in 2005. eBay was founded in 1995 and received its first venture money in 1997––$6.7 million.

Even doubling these private investments for inflation still leaves quite a gap.


8 posted on 10/16/2013 7:36:43 AM PDT by Liz
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To: VideoPaul

I don’t know how much can be saved on Obamacare premiums, but the deductibles make having the insurance worthless.

9 posted on 10/16/2013 7:37:24 AM PDT by pallis
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To: VideoPaul

Ah... this is the first verification that I’ve seen...

“income” and “race” were asked on the website.

These will be used to determine if you get covered or not.

10 posted on 10/16/2013 7:37:45 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: All
THE PRIVACY NIGHTMARE---AG's from 13 states wrote HHS' Sebelius to express concerns over consumer privacy and oversight of “Obamacare navigators,” counselors charged with assisting consumers.....the AGs' asked HHS what policies were in place to: (1) screen and monitor program personnel, (2) prevent fraud and remedy cases of it, and, (3) regulate the navigators at the state level....... chief among AG concerns was (5) whether sufficient safeguards were in place to prevent security breaches.

TALKING POINTS---A West Virginia nonprofit has turned down a federal grant it received to help residents navigate new health insurance options under the Affordable Care Act after it received an inquiry from Attorney General Patrick Morrisey about how it would protect consumer information. Clarksburg-based West Virginia Parent Training Inc. did not respond to a letter it received from Morrisey directing it to answer 26 questions about the group's personnel and hiring practices, including employee background checks and employee monitoring programs, the Sunday Gazette-Mail ( reported. (Excerpt) Read more at ...

YOUR TURN--Contact your state AG---ask him/her to issue a letter of inquiry to groups receiving federal "Navigator" grants. The inquiry should center on questions WRT how the group intends to protect consumer data.

In particular, the questionnaire should ask if the tax-funded "Navigator" program intends to transfer personal/ financial/medical data of the insured to the local/county/national Democrat Party, relevant Unions, banks, investment companies, drug companies, insurance companies. Trial Lawyers' associations and whether "Navigators" have sub rosa contracts with these, and other groups, plan to profit, to provide significant info to enrich databases for pecuniary purposes.

The AG also needs to confirm (1) whether the "navigator" was ever convicted of a felony....... and....(2) whether the "navigator" can be bonded.

Most importantly demand that your AG enforce the requirement that "Navigators" must have a state insurance license (consists of a comprehensive test on all aspects of insurance and compels a background check).


DAILY CALLER.COM--Kansas Obamacare ‘navigator’
has outstanding arrest warrant / by Michael Volpe


Rosilyn Wells — the Director of Outreach and Enrollment for the Heartland Community Health-care Center (HCHC)-- was hired as an Obamacare "navigator" despite her shady financial history: (1) a bankruptcy in 2003, (2) a 2007 civil charge from a local check cashing business for writing a bad check, (3) being more than $1700 behind on her state tax bill, and, (4) having an outstanding arrest warrant in nearby Shawnee County. Wells lives and works in Douglass County.

11 posted on 10/16/2013 7:40:00 AM PDT by Liz
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To: MrB

Not until Baby Wetsandcries capitulates to the Democrats.

12 posted on 10/16/2013 7:42:22 AM PDT by AppyPappy (Obama: What did I not know and when did I not know it?)
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To: MrB

I went through everything to get the whole experience. I decided to see if I qualify for “subsidies”. You’re getting the unedited, unvarnished experience.

I understand that a lot of people are reticent to enter in all of this information. As I mentioned in the article, this information is already so ubiquitous in various government systems that I saw absolutely no change in how much information the government has about me, so I went ahead and filled it all in.

Personally, I find a lot of this intrusive. I understand why the income questions are needed to see if you qualify for the “subsidy” but I am at a total loss to understand why ethnicity plays any part in this whatsoever.

13 posted on 10/16/2013 7:43:12 AM PDT by VideoPaul
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To: VideoPaul

Thanks for reporting. Very eye-opening.

14 posted on 10/16/2013 7:47:26 AM PDT by RightGeek (FUBO and the donkey you rode in on)
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To: VideoPaul
I am at a total loss to understand why ethnicity plays any part in this whatsoever.
Well, you're the only one.
15 posted on 10/16/2013 7:49:28 AM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: VideoPaul
Thanks for your post. Please ping me if you post updates

Now about this part-This morning, I was told again that the system had “glitches” and was told again to try the phone number instead

I refused to call the number for the following reasons:

I don't know if acorn (or insert the name of this obama cohort organization)is actually taking the calls.

I've read that the navigators will be getting $48.00 per person they sign up. If the navigators (cohorts of Obama-etc) are answering those phones, and helping me to sign up, they will be making out like fat rats.

I refuse to help them get paid off even more for forcing me to buy insurance.

Great way to steer people to their cronies by making people call them for help.
16 posted on 10/16/2013 8:00:58 AM PDT by novemberslady
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To: MrB

And the government has no right to keep such a very private database. . .what next, questions about political affiliation? And to what end beyond this debacle? Selling information, leaking potential embarrassing information, “no expectation of privacy” I think I recall reading is in the computer code of this program.

It is a danger to our freedoms and security to allow the federal government to amass such detailed personal data on a free people.

I shouldn’t be surprised, after all , this is the same government that has the Census asking the same level of detail (if not more); the ACS (American Community Survey).

17 posted on 10/16/2013 8:01:34 AM PDT by Hulka
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To: VideoPaul
I am at a total loss to understand why ethnicity plays any part in this whatsoever

Because you're not a leftist. You don't think of people in tribes/groups, each with a different level of victimhood or "oppressorhood".

I guarantee that "race" will play a factor in the subsidies at minimum, and in actually approval of care after implementation.

18 posted on 10/16/2013 8:03:52 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: VideoPaul

Your experience is exactly the same as mine.. exactly..

Couple notes.

I called and talked to a person (she was nice), but she couldn’t provide an escalation path. She is sending me a hard copy to apply via mail. It’s been 10 days and I’ve not received it. (She did tell me that she knew of no one who had successfully signed up..)

Chatting online is worthless..

I’ve talked to another woman who tried really hard to get me a number to give experian, but was unable to get through to ‘tech support’.. Nor did she know who were the actual people who would look at the drivers license scan I uploaded. Again, no escalation path.

I have sent a picture of my drivers license to a location in Kentucky. Who knows what they’ll do with it

19 posted on 10/16/2013 8:04:39 AM PDT by tje
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To: Hulka
what next, questions about political affiliation

The demographic information they gather serves as a proxy for this, probably with 90% accuracy.
You will be given or denied care based on your political affiliation, and that is the goal of socialized healthcare.

20 posted on 10/16/2013 8:05:21 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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