By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog
SANTA FE – Dear readers, you may recall that on Tuesday — the first day of the rollout of the new health care law — I posted a story on my attempt to get information on what individual health care coverage I was eligible for here in New Mexico.
I already have insurance through my employer, but like many in my state, I’m curious to compare what I’m paying for now with what I could get through the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange.
On Tuesday, I couldn’t get an answer. Nothing has changed in the last three days.
The NMHIX can handle accounts from small businesses. Officials at NMHIX boasted on Tuesday it had signed up 29 small businesses in the first 45 minutes of operation, and that by midday about 100 had enrolled.
But if you want information for individual accounts, NMHIX directs you to the federal government’s website, www.healthcare.gov.
That website features a smiling young woman and this headline:
The page may say, “The Health Insurance Marketplace is Open!” but on Tuesday, I couldn’t create an account because, while filling out the application process, the drop boxes on the security questions didn’t work.
As has been mentioned in stories across the country, the healthcare.gov site was plagued with glitches.
So, now that three days have passed, I tried again.
I logged on at 10:49 a.m. Friday, saw the smiling woman and clicked on “Apply Now.” Up popped:
After 14 minutes, the site took to me the “Let’s Get Started” page. I started filling out the necessary information — name, address, email, etc. — to create an account.
This time, I was able to get to the security questions and the drop boxes actually worked. Great, it looked like I was on my way.
But after filling out the three security questions, up popped:
I thought I filled out the questions correctly, but nevertheless I returned to the account page and tried again.
After filling out the boxes a second time, I got the same message.
So I called the NMHIX hotline again (hold times are shorter than on the federal number) and this time, I talked to an operator named Deborah.
“Am I doing something wrong when I fill out the security questions?” I asked.
“No, the security questions are not working,” she said. “They tell us it could be two to three weeks before they get it fixed.” “They” meaning the fed’s www.healthcare.gov site.
Apparently, some applicants get as far as I did before the system freezes up, but Deborah said others don’t.
She said I could click on the “Chat” button to let the feds know about my issue. I did, where after a nine-minute wait, a chat operator named Salina came online.
“I apologize for the inconvenience,” she wrote. “We are aware of the issues and we are working in resolving them.”
Salina offered no time line for clearing up the glitches. “…Unfortunately, I do not have that information…Again, I apologize for the inconvenience,” she wrote.
After my story Tuesday, a couple of New Mexico Watchdog readers relayed similar stories. Bob in Santa Fe wrote to tell me his son thought he had created an account but:
“After about 15 minutes, he signed onto his account, found the email, and clicked on the link. Nothing happened for several minutes. Then a message came up saying that too much time had elapsed, so this account was canceled! I tried again, but we were back to square one. I did get through, but after I had entered all of the information, a message told me that the system was down. Twice!”
Another reader, John, left me this comment: “I have been able to at least to get log-in information but so far have not been able to connect — the system says wait as we have heavy traffic, guess everyone else is attempting to check out health insurance at 4 and 5 AM. Looks they got the slowest dial up speed they could!!”
We’re not alone, but that’s little consolation.
I’ll try again in a couple of days.
Contact Rob Nikolewski at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski
- Obamacare compliance means less money for TN service agencies
- The mystery of Obamacare spending in Arkansas
- Obamacare raises questions for MD small business owners
- Kansas official on Obamacare: ‘Let someone else be the guinea pig’
- Obamacare insurance marketplace has plenty of kinks on first day
- OR’s Obamacare insurance marketplace hits technological snag
- Fail: Day 1 of the New Mexico Obamacare rollout
- Senator asks: Do you want this dysfunctional government taking over health care?
- Jobs, coverage at risk with Obamacare, MN union health official says
- Oregon’s Obamacare ads resemble middle school art
- VIDEO: Obamacare vs Affordable Care Act: Comedy triumphs in court of confusion
- Patience is key to navigating Illinois’ Obamacare marketplace
- Hawaii residents, lawmakers frustrated with health connector glitches
- Healthy young, key to Obamacare, aren’t buying it
- NM’s health exchange tries to lure ‘young invincibles’
- Obama drama: Senator blames governor for big rate hikes
- Progressive group navigates Oregon students through Obamacare
- Maddening: Trying to log onto federal health care site
- You know that one guy who successfully signed up for Obamacare? He didn’t
- What’s wrong? It’s been a week, and Obamacare website still not working
- HHS Secretary Sebelius back in FL after embarrassing Obamacare rollout
- Health centers enroll Floridians in Obamacare as application problems persist
- VIDEO: Stewart skewers Sebelius on Obamacare
- Obamacare effect? 9 companies exit Nebraska’s health insurance market
- Obamacare: Children of undocumented parents face an uncertain future
- Which way do we go? Obamacare navigator registration in TN in question
- NM health exchange tries to ease problems with Obamacare website
- CPA says hype over Obamacare small business tax credit is misleading
- Obamacare navigator under fire for arrest warrant
- Reports of Obamacare fraud emerge in Tennessee
- After two weeks, FL online Obamacare enrollees are hard to find
- Illinois state governor touts 100K Obamacare enrollees, all in Medicaid
- Kansas lawmaker calls for crackdown on Obamacare navigators
- WI health care exchange seeing few getting through
- Hawaii’s Obamacare exchange relaunches with more glitches
- We’ll know next month how many people in NM signed up for Obamacare — maybe
- Zero: Number of Nebraskans Obamacare navigators have signed up
- It took this Delaware woman 11 days to sign up for Obamacare – and she was the first
- How many people have signed up for health insurance in VA? Who knows?
- What else? NM federal health exchange ads stalled due to website problems
- Blue Cross hires temp workers to deal with Obamacare glitches
- If Obamacare is the next Medicare, will physicians leave en masse?
- Three problems that won’t be solved by fixing the Obamacare exchange glitches
- Plenty of Oregonians interested in Obamacare, but none can enroll online
- Criticize this: Obamacare premiums a near match to WI disclosures
- Report: Missourians will see sharp rise in premiums under Obamacare
- Kansas navigators say they’ve enrolled no one in Obamacare
- Obamacare too costly for rich Coloradans, Democrat congressman says
- Study: Kansas premiums to spike following Obamacare rollout
- Hang on to your candy: Creepy Uncle Sam is back
- Obamacare or bust: NM Watchdog turned back again
- Medical journals, experts refute claim that Medicaid cuts ER use
- Arkansas spends $4M on Obamacare ads, wants more
- LOL: In July video, HHS bragged about being ‘on schedule’ with Obamacare
- Illinois uses Day of the Dead to market Obamacare
- Sebelius denies GOP’s Terry ‘unreliable’ Obamacare info
- About 290,000 Washington residents lose health insurance plans
- Broken promise: Obamacare cancels almost 20,000 Kansas health care plans
- Top hospitals opt out of Obamacare
- Obamacare moves to intensive care
- Obamacare provision could lead to more Medicaid fraud
- Obamacare: Religious groups want to ‘move mountains’
- Obamacare hitting Wisconsin residents with double whammy
- Kansas AG: Obamacare threatens consumer privacy
- 1,500 in New Mexico have to move out of the high-risk insurance pool
- Cover Oregon website fiasco creates jobs, but costs millions
- For Florida’s Obamacare small business exchange, it’s crunch time
- Only 877 Wisconsinites have signed up for Obamacare, federal report says
- Just 172 in NM have completed Obamacare applications: ‘Woefully inadequate,’ says NMIX board member
- With only 346 Oklahomans signed up, leaders decry ‘Obamacare debacle’
- Defying Obamacare: ‘Send them the bill,’ NM insurance official says
- Kansas Obamacare enrollment dwarfed by nearly 20,000 cancellations
- Numbers don’t lie: In Illinois, Obamacare means Medicaid
- Wisconsin governor proposes insurance plan to address Obamacare rollout failure
- Tennesseans might know Tuesday if they can keep canceled health insurance
- People demand answers over Oregon’s Obamacare fail
- Calif. says ‘no’ to Obamacare freebies, makes own law
- HI health exchange violates federal law, League of Women Voters say
- Obamacare video winner: ‘Forget about the price tag’
- Harvard study finds ‘striking’ rejection of Obamacare by young Americans
- HI health exchange has signed up 574 people, for about $348,000 apiece
- Are the uninsured getting Obamacare coverage in Illinois?
- Secret Obamacare handbook the feds don’t want you to see is online
- Lost in translation: Once-supportive Hispanics turning backs on Obama, ACA
- HI Obamacare exchange not fiscally sustainable, lawmakers told
- Illinois’ latest Obamacare targets: gold diggers and momma’s boys
- Now Democrats are bashing California’s Obamacare exchange, too
- Obamacare: For $1.37M we get Richard Simmons in lurid web stream
- Obamacare: A welcome mat for IRS horrors
- California senator seeks audit of state Obamacare exchange
- Report: Hawaii ranks worst for Obamacare signups
- CA senator sues Obamacare exchange for causing policy cancellations of 1M
- Failure of Maryland Obamacare exchange could mean higher premiums in North Dakota
- Video: Watch Creepy Uncle Sam make it rain
- Five bright spots surrounding the Obamacare exchange failures
- Obamacare architect admitted in 2012 states without exchanges lose subsidies