Obamacare sign-up more than a phone call away - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Obamacare sign-up more than a phone call away

Posted:

By Danielle Dellorto

(CNN) -- Health insurance enrollment is just a phone call away.

At least that's the message President Barack Obama and Department of Health and Human Services officials have been pushing as an alternative to the embarrassing technical challenges with the enrollment website.

To see just how easy -- or hard -- enrolling over the phone would be, I called the 800 number Obama provided in his Monday speech.

"Average wait times for calls is less than 30 seconds, and 3 minutes for chats," wrote Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on the HHS blog Thursday.

It all sounds so easy, right? Not quite.

Sebelius was right about the wait time. I was able to get a person on the phone in less than a minute.

They told me we needed to first get set up with an application. That part was very simple too --- I was asked basic questions like my name, address and Social Security number.

Five minutes later, they said I was I all set.

So did that mean I was enrolled? No.

I have to call back-- in one to three weeks -- for that.

Turns out, the call center can't actually process applications over the phone. They can just take your information and submit it for you.

Once I get a paper statement in the mail saying I'm eligible to enroll, I can then call the center back and enroll over the phone, the representative said.

From a consumer standpoint, the most frustrating aspect was that I couldn't get any specifics about the various insurance options during this call either.

I was told they can't divulge the information about the four levels of coverage choices until I get that piece of paper in the mail -- a long, drawn-out process for something that it appears could be done immediately with technology.

"No one gets new benefits until January 1st," said Sebelius on Friday at an event in Austin, Texas. "And if an individual signs up by the 15th of December, they will have coverage on day one."

Based on my experience, there should be an asterisk by the December 15 date. At least in terms of calling to enroll over the phone, which I quickly learned is a several-step -- and several-weeks-long -- process.
   
 The-CNN-Wire
 ™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
 

  • Update: 5 Workers Arrested During Banquete Game Room Bust

    Update: 5 Workers Arrested During Banquete Game Room Bust

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:00 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:00:15 GMT
    Another game room bust, this one happening in Banquete late Friday night. The Nueces County Sheriff's Office raided two game rooms and both of them were packed with players. The sheriff's office had under cover officers look into two game rooms, one in Banquete and the other just south of Robstown. Not only is it alleged that the game room paying out money, but the game room in Banquete was also a fire trap since there was only one way in and one way out. The Banquete game room had been ...More >>
    Another game room bust, this one happening in Banquete late Friday night. The Nueces County Sheriff's Office raided two game rooms and both of them were packed with players. The sheriff's office had under cover officers look into two game rooms, one in Banquete and the other just south of Robstown. Not only is it alleged that the game room paying out money, but the game room in Banquete was also a fire trap since there was only one way in and one way out. The Banquete game room had been ...More >>
  • Residents Startled by Gun Fire

    Residents Startled by Gun Fire

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:45 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:45:09 GMT
    Residents woke up to the sound of gun shots in one westside neighborhood Saturday morning. The incident happened just before 2:30 Saturday morning at a home near the intersection of Cortez and Baldwin Boulevard. Police later told 3 News that one man was arrested, but only for public intoxication. Police say the man put up a struggle with officers.More >>
    Residents woke up to the sound of gun shots in one westside neighborhood Saturday morning. The incident happened just before 2:30 Saturday morning at a home near the intersection of Cortez and Baldwin Boulevard. Police later told 3 News that one man was arrested, but only for public intoxication. Police say the man put up a struggle with officers.More >>
  • Car Crashes and Catches Fire

    Car Crashes and Catches Fire

    Saturday, April 19 2014 10:30 PM EDT2014-04-20 02:30:09 GMT
    A driver loses control and crashes in between two barriers under the freeway. It happened at the Greenwood turn around and SPID earlier Saturday afternoon. CCPD says that the driver was speeding when he made the turn and lost control, getting stuck between the two barriers. Police say the impact caused the car to catch fire. The driver was not injured. He was given a ticket and the car will be impounded, that's because the driver did not have insurance.More >>
    A driver loses control and crashes in between two barriers under the freeway. It happened at the Greenwood turn around and SPID earlier Saturday afternoon. CCPD says that the driver was speeding when he made the turn and lost control, getting stuck between the two barriers. Police say the impact caused the car to catch fire. The driver was not injured. He was given a ticket and the car will be impounded, that's because the driver did not have insurance.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KIII. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.