December 13, 2013

VICTORY! If you read yesterday's tale of woe and frustration, you know I was on the edge of being a basket case over my inability to log into the Covered California website and finish my application.

I started afresh this morning, resolved to end this week by getting it done. I tried one last time to get into the website and got the same errors all over again.

Next stop, the call center. I got the power cord to my phone, plugged it in along with my headphones so I could be hands-free, and started dialing.

First try, I got the "call back later, we're too busy" recording. So I waited awhile and tried again. Big mistake. I should have just kept dialing.

It took a total of nine tries to get into the queue, but I did finally hit the magic "Press 1 for English" message. I did so, and settled into the wait, hoping against all hope that I wouldn't get dumped from the queue like I had on two other occasions.

I didn't get dumped this time, and after a hefty wait, was connected to a really nice, helpful and competent service representative. She took one look at my online account, had a nearby techie look at it, and told me I was better off with a fresh application that she could take over the phone.

45 minutes later, I was confirmed for a silver plan that covers me, my husband and my daughter. Our son will need to set up his own insurance now that he has a full-time job and isn't a student anymore.

Our premium for insurance that's several orders of magnitude better than what we have right now? $134.03 per month. That's what I call affordable, especially when I'm looking at the prescription drug copayments that are substantially better than they were before, even for the name-brand drugs.

Bottom line? We're getting better insurance for less than one-tenth of what we're paying today. Our enrollment was confirmed and all we have to do is pay the bill when it comes. Honestly, I would have paid it right that second if there was a way to do it, but because we enrolled over the phone we do need to wait until we actually get the bill from the insurance company. I'm ok with that. The money is in the bank and they'll get a check the second the bill arrives.

I cannot tell you what a relief this is. I have been losing sleep over the prospect of our old insurance expiring and not having a replacement. We're all trying to live the healthiest lifestyles as we can, but nothing can substitute for the knowledge that if we get sick, we can actually afford to get care.

That was the point of this law, and I'm happy that it's working.

The moral(s) of the story?

  • Don't beat your head against a wall if the website isn't working. Use the call center or find a navigator in your area to walk you through it.
  • Please, please do it sooner rather than later. As the first deadline looms, it's going to get even busier than it is right now. Don't wait until the last minute and then fall into the vortex I landed in.
  • Just do it. Now.

As for me, I'm going to get the best night's sleep I've had in years.

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