A friend and I spent the morning trying unsuccessfully to create an account on healthcare.gov and shop for cheaper health insurance.
We both live in Virginia, but it appears that we won't be shopping and comparing healthcare plans anytime soon.
Here is a description and some screenshots of what we found:
Step 1: Open for business! How exciting!
Step 2: There is a line?
My friend jokes, "I don't think a website has put me in a line before, particularly not at 4 a.m."
Step 3: This is going great
I'm filling out all of my data: my email, my name, my unique password with at least one uppercase letter and a number, my username.
Step 4: Security questions: Lots of options here, but I need to pick three
Am I comfortable knowing that the government will have the answers to these questions? Oh well, the NSA probably already knows.
Step 5: Okay, here we go
Step 6: Are you kidding?
Whiskey, WMAL, and American are all different words. My friend has the same problem. "My guess is it got confused between my answer to the name of my favorite pet and my nickname for my grandma," he says.
The screen advises me to hit the "Try Again" button.
Step 7: Get to the back of the line
What? They sent me all the way back to the starters screen?
Step 8: Repeat steps 1-5
Step 9: Fail
Okay. Hitting the "Try Again" button once more.
Step 10: Repeat steps 1-5
Step 11: Fail
I must be already in the system, maybe I should try to login.
My friend explains: "In effect, it's creating zombie records; they exist but aren't alive. It's like the Walking Dead."
Step 12: Click the login button
I guess I should click the ???FFE.EE.MYACCOUNT.LOG button because it is green
Step 13: Whoops
"Contact your system administrator" Thanks Obama!
Step 14: Despair
My friend comments: "I think I'm in some sort of twilight no-man's land now. It says my name and email address are taken, it's not letting me sign up again, but nor will it let me log in. I'm just wandering around here, wherever here is. Wondering if I'm alone."