Healthcare Exchange Sign-up Update

Posted on November 7, 2013

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It’s been a week since my last update on my client’s attempts to submit an application for individual health insurance on the Federal healthcare exchange website.  We’ve attempted many more times in the past week to submit an application and continue to be unable to submit it.

The (only) good news is that the system remembers all the information about my client and his dependents (except some times we have to re-enter social security numbers) each time we return to submit the application.

The bad news is that the process fails every time we attempt to submit it.  And it typically requires 5 to 10 minutes clicking through many pages of the answers to questions that were previously provided before the process fails.

The most common problems we have experienced are:

1) We are unable to log in at all.  We get error messages that the system is down for maintenance or just a message that we cannot log in at this time with no explanation as to why.

2) We most typically get an error message that the “verification system is temporarily unavailable” and “they expect to fix the issue in 24 hours.”  We’ve gotten this message repeatedly over the past two weeks since we first started trying to submit an application.

3) We occasionally get random errors we haven’t seen before.  This morning we got a new error message in a bright red box that started with “There’s a problem.  Try logging in again after 30 minutes….”

In addition, on two occasions over the past 2 weeks my client has received an e-mail from notices@healthcare.gov stating, “You have a new message waiting for you in your Marketplace account.”  When we log in, we can’t find any messages or where they would be presented.

Last week, we also tried the online chat feature.  We did exchange messages with a rep for a few minutes, but the rep was unable to help and directed us to the call the toll-free number and work with a telephone representative.  My client and I aren’t yet ready to invest an uncertain amount of time in a potentially fruitless telephone call.

So, no progress yet.

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