If you remember last week I tried 4 times to register on line and ran face first into the error message with my favorite bright red bar that says "Important: Your account couldn't be created at this time. The system is unavailable."
So I "manned up", put on my "big boy shorts" and made a call to the 1-800-318-2596 "HealthCare Hotline" number I found by clicking on the "Contact Us" tab.
I was feeling pretty secure that after my hour conversation setting up my registration with "Mr. B" that my application would be reviewed and a quick determination would be made on what types of healthcare programs I qualified for.
He led me to believe that I would be sent an email "shortly" outlining the extent of my eligibility and the different coverages I could apply for.
Well, all three were basically advertisements for the website:
"Welcome to the Health Insurance Marketplace!"
Now that you’ve signed up for email updates, you’re one step closer to getting the health coverage you need. We’ll send you tips and alerts that will help you stay on track to get covered in the Health Insurance Marketplace.
How about a tip on getting registered first, huh?
"Open enrollment has begun."
First, find the Marketplace in your state. Then you can apply for coverage, compare plans, and enroll.
Plans and prices are available now and coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2014.
Hopefully we can get registered by then.
We’re available 24/7 if you need help with your application.
And we are really good at reading a script and giving you the "personal touch" treatment.
"Connect with us."
Are you looking forward to getting covered?
Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook. Use the hashtag #GetCovered.
We’ll be in touch soon!
I AM REALLY BEGINNING TO DOUBT THAT !!!
So, today I though I would try the third avenue in hopes of making some progress by clicking on the ever-present "Live Chat" button at the bottom of the website pages.
You gotta believe that I was going into this adventure with an open mind and a heightened sense of humor.
Here's the copy of the transcript(with my FUNNY comments in RED) for your amusement...............
[3:51:07 pm]: Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help.
[3:51:11 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.
[3:51:21 pm]: Welcome! You're now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.
Thanks for contacting us. My name is Tina. To protect your privacy, please don't provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.
[3:51:34 pm]: Tina
How can I help you?
[3:52:27 pm]: Jay
I filled out my application via phone on 10-16-13 and still have not seen any information or confirmation of my application?
[3:52:50 pm]: Tina
I apologize for the inconvenience.
[3:53:28 pm]: Tina
Things are a little delayed right now with the website issues and the volume of people putting in applications right now.
[3:55:14 pm]: Tina
Do you have any other questions that I can help you with?
YOU DIDN'T HELP ME WITH MY FIRST QUESTION YET !!!
[3:57:00 pm]: Jay
When will I hear something about my application and possible insurance opportunities?
[3:57:53 pm]: Tina
I would give it a few more days at least. If you do not hear anything you may want to call the Marketplace and have them do an application for you.
[4:01:56 pm]: Jay
I already called the Marketplace and filled out an application with a gentleman named Brandon back on 10-16-2013. I made the call after 3 unsuccessful attempts at trying to compete the application online.
[4:02:46 pm]: Tina
Ok give me a moment to research something about that.
OMG…..IT'S THE ONE MOMENT PLEASE TREATMENT AGAIN !!!
[4:05:05 pm]: Tina
They will send your eligibility results in the mail soon. After you've reviewed it, call them back and they help you compare and select a plan. You'll have plenty of time to decide; if you sign up by December 15 your coverage can start as early as January 1, 2014. There is not a definite timeline as to how long it will take to receive your paperwork.
[4:07:30 pm]: Tina
Is there anything else I can try to help you with?
[4:08:54 pm]: Tina
Are you there Jay?
UNFORTUNATELY I HAD A PHONE CALL AND WALKED OUT OF MY OFFICE TO TALK
[4:10:29 pm]: Tina
Thank you for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
[4:11:24 pm]: 'Tina' has left the chat session.
[4:11:40 pm]: Your chat session is over. Thanks for contacting us, and we hope we've answered your questions. Have a great day.
[4:11:40 pm]: 10/21/2013
SORRY TINA, I HAD A PHONE CALL. WILL MY ELIGIBILITY RESULTS BE COMING VIA EMAIL OR POSTAL MAIL? OH NO...I'LL NEVER FIND OUT.
WE MUST TRY AGAIN....BACK TO THE "LIVE CHAT" BUTTON..................
[4:22:08 pm]: Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help.
HHHMMMM.....WHERE HAVE I HEARD THAT BEFORE?
[4:22:11 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.
EVEN THE CHAT LINE IS SCRIPTED?
[4:22:15 pm]: Welcome! You're now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.
Thanks for contacting us. My name is Angel. To protect your privacy, please don't provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.
YADDA YADDA YADDA......
[4:22:33 pm]: Angel
Hello, how may I help you this good afternoon?
[4:23:42 pm]: Jay
I was chatting with a representative named Tina and I had to step away to answer a phone call. In the meantime my "chat session" ended.
[4:24:03 pm]: Jay
Is Tina available?
[4:24:11 pm]: Angel
Okay what seems to be the issue?
[4:25:11 pm]: Angel
We are not able to transfer chats. & then you may have reached her @ another site as well.
[4:26:39 pm]: Jay
OK, is there more than one location that tends to the "chat sessions"?
[4:28:06 pm]: Angel
Yes there is, when you click live chat, whatever chat rep is avaliable @ that time, that is the rep you are going to get. I do apologize for any inconvenience.
[4:28:54 pm]: Jay
Wow, are you all in the same city?
[4:29:29 pm]: Angel
No we are in different states.
[4:31:44 pm]: Jay
Interesting.....anyway I was following up on my phone application from 10-16-13 with Tina and she said I would get confirmation of my eligibility results in the mail soon. Do you know if the results will come via email or postal mail?
BACK TO BUSINESS....RIGHT?
[4:33:34 pm]: Angel
She should have asked you, did you want your results in the mail or via email. & whatever you choose that will be how you will get your results.
[4:36:08 pm]: Jay
I would like to get my results via email. The gentleman I was working with on 10-16-13 said I would get the results within 3 business days. Do you show in your files that I have completed my registration and application?
[4:37:31 pm]: Angel
No Sir I do not have access to that, but you can always call & speak with a rep so that they can look into that for you.
I'M THINKING.......SO WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE HERE PARTNER?
[4:38:18 pm]: Angel
So your saying you never received an email from the Marketplace.
[4:39:09 pm]: Jay
I have not heard from anyone since my phone call on 10-16-13.
I GUESS I LIED SINCE I GOT THOSE 3 REALLY NICE MARKETING EMAILS LAST WEEK BUT I'M SURE HE WAS TALKING ABOUT HEARING ABOUT MY REGISTRATION RESULTS
[4:40:25 pm]: Angel
I do apologize for that. What I can do is escalate your issue to our Advanced Resolution Center.
NOW WERE TALKING
[4:42:02 pm]: Jay
OK, who are they? I don't want to create any issues.
I'M PRETTY COY HUH?
[4:44:44 pm]: Angel
Oh no, this is helping you out. See when you have an issue we are not able to solve we escalate your issue to a trained specialist to help you get your issue solved. So no this will not be creating an issue, we are here to help you get coverage.
[4:45:44 pm]: Angel
All I would need from you is a number we can best reach you @, & the best time we can reach you as well.
[4:47:32 pm]: Jay
OK, let's see if the "Advanced Resolution Center" can help me. Where are they located?
I'M THINKING THEY ARE IN PRESIDENT OBAMA'S WAR ROOM
[4:47:59 pm]: Jay
I am in Arizona and currently on Pacific Standard Time.
[4:48:59 pm]: Angel
I just need your number & a time you would like for us to reach you @.
[4:49:57 pm]: Jay
Are they available now?
[4:51:49 pm]: Angel
Well your issue would go in a que, & when it reaches someone they will go over it, then give you a call @ that time. I do not have a way I can call them myself.
[4:54:15 pm]: Jay
OK, I have time this afternoon. My number is 623-734-5438
[4:55:26 pm]: Angel
Okay, please give them 2 business days before someone would be able to reach you.
THAT FIGURES !!! WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY THAT TO BEGIN WITH?
[4:56:11 pm]: Angel
& I will go ahead & input your issue with my notes, so when they call they will already know what the situation is.
I SENSE THAT ANGEL AND HIS CREW DID NOT PAY ATTENTION IN GRAMMAR OR WRITING CLASS
[4:56:40 pm]: Jay
OK, how early in the morning can they call....I'm an early riser.
[4:57:44 pm]: Angel
Let me see, the times & you just pick one that is best for you, give me just one moment.
OH NO, ONE MOMENT PLEASE AGAIN !!!
[4:59:17 pm]: Angel
[5:01:20 pm]: Jay
Are these my time zone? I am assuming you folks work in or near Washington D.C.
I KEEP TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHERE THESE PEOPLE ARE
[5:04:13 pm]: Angel
Give me one moment please, so I can have the correct information for you.
[5:05:40 pm]: Angel
Okay it will be your time zone.
[5:07:00 pm]: Jay
Angel, can you hook me up for 7AM - 10AM on Thursday 10/24?
[5:08:58 pm]: Angel
Yes I can.
[5:09:55 pm]: Angel
It may not be Thursday but I will include that in the notes
I THOUGHT YOU SAID "YES I CAN" ?
[5:12:00 pm]: Jay
OK, the soonest available day will work. What do I do if I miss the call?
[5:12:53 pm]: Angel
They may leave a number for you to call if you are unreachable.
[5:13:37 pm]: Jay
OK, When do you think the website will be functional enough to handle online registrations and applications?
OK, I'M FINISHED WITH THIS CONVERSATION NOW LET'S HAVE SOME FUN
[5:14:49 pm]: Angel
I really do not have a date I just suggest that you look on there every other day.
[5:16:44 pm]: Jay
OK, I guess with 320 million people trying to register at the same time it gets a little bit of a workout.
[5:18:43 pm]: Angel
Yes it does! & we are trying to do everything possible we can to get everyone with affordable coverage.
[5:20:04 pm]: Jay
Are you trained to use that last reply as often as possible? LOL
[5:21:03 pm]: Angel
It shows concern, which I am.
GREAT COME BACK BUT POOR ENGLISH
[5:22:12 pm]: Jay
Very Nice........Hopefully, I’m not too forward but I was wondering if you could tell me who you work for and what city you are in?
[5:22:50 pm]: Angel
I'm in Central Texas.
[5:25:16 pm]: Jay
Interesting.... are you with Medicare and Medicaid?
[5:27:40 pm]: Angel
This call center handles a variety of both.
[5:28:16 pm]: Jay
OK, is there anything else I can help you with?
SEE HOW I TURNED THE CONVERSATION ON ANGEL?
[5:28:57 pm]: Angel
No, is that all the questions you have for me this evening?
[5:29:36 pm]: Angel
If not you have a good evening Sir!
LET'S GO FOR ONE MORE LAUGH
[5:29:43 pm]: Jay
I think so........Thanks
[5:30:01 pm]: Angel
[5:30:03 pm]: Angel
Thank you for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
[5:30:09 pm]: Jay
HOW DOES HE KNOW I'M MALE IF HE DOESN'T HAVE ACCESS TO MY FILES?
[5:32:11 pm]: Angel
Using my manners.
GET OUTTA HERE !!!
[5:34:29 pm]: 'Angel' has left the chat session.
[5:34:31 pm]: Your chat session is over. Thanks for contacting us, and we hope we've answered your questions. Have a great day.
[5:34:31 pm]: 10/21/2013
I'll continue to research this fine program some more tomorrow.
Maybe we'll see what progress some other middle aged U.S. citizens have made so far and what their opinions of the process are.
Time is too precious at our age and none should be lost fighting through this bureaucratic bullshit.
Let me do the dirty work.
Thanks for joining me......................................................