Navigating the Marketplace: A First-Hand Account Of Insurance Marketplaces

Image Credit: Healthcare.gov

Image Credit: Healthcare.gov

The whole process of finding a healthcare plan under the Affordable Care Act starts with healthcare.gov.

Before now the site has been informational, but there’s a new option on the page: “Apply Now”.

That takes you to another page, where you pick the state you live in.  Here’s the first snag we ran into.

It wouldn’t let us straight through to the site over the course of multiple attempts over several hours. The website says there are delays.

We waited out the delay. Eventually, we got to a basic web form to sign up for an account on the healthcare exchange.

It didn’t take long to get to the last page, except when we went to answer security questions, no questions popped up.

There’s a live chat option, but no one showed up to answer questions in it. Another attempt to access told us the system was down all together.

You may remember, Alabama didn’t have to go with the federal system.  They could have created their own.

We tried some of the states that did just that.

For example, we checked out the site for Kentucky.  It also says it’s having technical difficulty.

Connecticut’s site doesn’t show any signs of problems, though we didn’t apply there, since it didn’t carry over from our state.

The one good thing for people trying to apply, there’s still plenty of time left. Healthcare.gov says you’ve got 181 days still to apply.

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