Author and educator John Green made a video about his attempts to to use the federal insurance exchange sites rolled out this month as part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
First, Green goes through the process of signing up for health care through the federal website, www.healthcare.gov. True to the reports, he encounters repeated and frustrating technical difficulties.
After about one (theatrically) exasperating hour or so, Green finally succeeds at creating a profile, and then he tries to duplicate the process on the type of established, private healthcare website that businesses are increasingly using.
That process takes twice as long as using Healthcare.gov in Green’s telling, because he has to run through a gauntlet of sometimes poorly-worded questions to identify any pre-existing condition he might have.
Which brings us to Green’s point. Navigating Healthcare.gov is a nightmare, because seeking out insurance by yourself is generally nightmarish. “It’s not really fair to compare the experience of buying Health Insurance on these new exchanges to the experience of buying [merchandise online]," Green argues. "The only real analog is what it was like to buy insurance before.” And on that front, he scores Healthcare.gov as the winner.
“So, I hope you’ve enjoyed my afternoon spent in the wilderness of health insurance. I know I didn’t!” Green concludes. If Americans can agree on nothing else, they can probably agree on their dislike of god-awful automated customer services, be they federal or corporate.
Do you think the glitches with healthcare.gov have been overcovered or undercovered in the media? Let us know in a comment or blog post.