Tuesday, October 1, 2013

My Obamacare Experience, Part 1

picture of stethoscope with a cash-stuffed wallet
I live in New York State, and the Health Insurance Marketplace website for the state … NY State Of Health … isn't working right now. The home page comes up just fine, and I was able to create a registration account so I can log in at whatever point that becomes a thing. But the home page carries this message:
Due to overwhelming interest in the NY State of Health - including 2 million visits in the first 2 hours of the site launch - the health exchange is currently having log in issues. We encourage users who are unable to log in to come back to the site later when these issues will be resolved."
… And when I click the big, prominent "GET STARTED" button, I get a raggedy error message.

There's plenty of time left in the open enrollment period so I'm not worried about the website's glitches. I won't get mad about it unless it's still like this in a few days. Actually, I'm hoping that maybe trying it out after 10 PM or so might do the trick.

Right now I am paying out of pocket for extended heath insurance through my former employer, so I'm actually not sure what new options I'll have under Obamacare (The Affordable Care Act). Maybe it'll just say "You're good, come back next year." Sooner or later though, it's going to be important, and I'd like to know my options as soon as possible.

By the way, my brother and his family live in Vermont. Just for fun, I tried Vermont's Health Benefit Exchange website, and it seems to be working fine. Of course, Vermont has like 12 citizens … 20 during ski season … so it's easier for their website to handle the strain.

Here are two very good Obamacare explainers …

The other a flowchart, if you're into that sort of thing.

I plan on blogging about my experiences with Obamacare for as long as my initial inquiries and ... possibly ... enrollments happen. I should also disclose out that I strongly supported health care reform, and although I'd prefer something like a Canadian-model single-payer system, I do believe the Affordable Care Act will turn out to be a vast improvement, if not for me, then for millions of others and for all of us in the long run. In other words, for the time being at least, I am PRO Obamacare.

No matter where you live in the U. S., if you want to know where you stand, start here: HealthCare.gov.

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