I subscribed to the CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) e-mail newsletters to stay up to date on what is going on and to make sure I get the information I need when it comes time to figure out what to do come October 1, 2013.
Well, a couple days ago I get an e-mail informing me of the “10 Healthcare Benefits Covered in the Health Insurance Marketplace” linked to a post at HealthCare.gov. In a headline at the bottom of the page they encourage me to “Create an Account” so “When open enrollment starts on October 1, 2013, you’ll be able to apply, compare plans, and enroll in the Marketplace.”
OK, so after six or more tries (I didn’t think I’d have to count) I’m finally signed up. It isn’t that tough and it is only three pages of simple questions with easy things to fill out, like your name, state, email address, username and password, and three security questions. I can understand when I had to change my user name because it wasn’t long enough but to have to start completely over to make that one change was a little frustrating.
I am certain the average person doing this isn’t going to try as many times as I did, especially if you have to fill out the entire thing (not just correct the mistake) every time it rejects you. Worst is when everything is ok and you keep getting a “Try Again Later” message. Remember, to “Try Again Later” you have to start all over. At that point, I was doing this just to see how many times it would take to get an account created. Most people would probably have given up after the second time they got rejected and had to redo their info.
So besides the frustration this creates and the potential to lose the people who just give up, it diminishes trust and confidence. If you can’t even get a simple account set up for me, what is it going to be like to actually apply for insurance, and how in the world am I going to be sure you can get me healthcare when I need it? What other hassles do you have in store for me? mike@PharmaReform.com
Important Update: Thank goodness, I got my account because a day after writing this they closed The Health Insurance Marketplace website for “upgrades” until October 1, 2013. Even though I have an account in the old version, I’ll probably have to start over in the “Upgraded” version. What do you think?