I’m not sure if you heard, but they passed a thing in the United States that’s supposed to provide all citizens with the opportunity to get health care. Sounds like a great deal, right? Who doesn’t want health insurance? No one! Well, let’s see how this works, shall we?
Even though I was a proponent of the concept, when it came to executing this plan of affordable health care for myself, I procrastinated. I procrastinated because I’m a procrastinator, but also because I didn’t want the bubble burst. I wanted to hold onto the dream of affordable health care for a little while longer; I had a feeling it would disappear as soon as I signed up, much like that dream you have where baby kitties are feeding you chocolate on a fluffy cloud disappears as soon as your alarm clock goes off. That sounds like a nice dream, too.
But, it’s March now and I’ve procrastinated enough, so I decided to suss it out. California opted to build its own insurance exchange and not use the federal government’s. Supposedly, it was one of the better exchanges with few people reporting problems signing up like they had with the federal exchange.
I did manage to get through the process without having to start over–California’s exchange saves your information as you go–but I just timed it, and each and every page you click takes anywhere from 25 to over 60 seconds to load. Logging in took a over a minute.
This is what the California Health Exchange looks like the vast majority of the time:
This message is now burned into my retinas:
If it were a simple matter of following a trail of breadcrumbs through the system, that would be one thing, but it’s not like that. After waiting between 25 and 60 seconds for each page to load and entering a ridiculous amount of personal information (seemingly one piece of information per page that takes 25-60 seconds to load), I got to a page that told me that they needed more information with the cryptic message, “Please check your Manage Verifications page for details.” It helpfully informed me that I can pick the plan that is right for my household after I go on a treasure hunt for the Manage Verifications page.
I guess I’m not done applying yet. Well, I was secretly looking for an excuse to spend more time on this ill-conceived website anyway. We’d shared so much over the years.
I’ll go to Manage Verifications and see what they want. Wait, where is it? Um… Where it tells me to “Please check your Manage Verifications page”? Yeah, that’s not a link to Manage Verifications. I know this because I tried clicking on plain old text like a damn moran. It had no more information or context as to where Manage Verifications might live. “Please check your Manage Verifications page” so casually flayed out as if it said, “Please check your back pocket.”
Alright, where the eff is my Manage Verifications page? I clicked on “My Profile” thinking that might be a reasonable location for it.
Oh, for fuck’s sake. Refresh. 49 seconds later (I actually used the stopwatch on my phone since I had fuckall else to do)…
FUCK YOOO. OK, well, maybe it’s a security thing where it expires after a minute or so like my bank’s website. Alright then, instead of refreshing, I clicked on the “My Profile” link at the top again and next month, I got this:
So, “My Profile” consists of changing my password or my PIN. Why didn’t they call it Password/PIN instead of “My Profile”?
Where the bloody hell is Manage Verifications? I clicked on the Covered California logo at the top to take me back to the beginning, because that seemed like a reasonable place to put Manage Verifications, and it took me absolutely nowhere not very fast.
I got back to the main Covered California page, where a popup window told me I had been logged out due to inactivity. MotherFR#HGS!K@!1! I tried to take a screenshot of that, but it disappeared before I could even read all the text in the box.
I logged in again and it finally took me to the page below, which is not the same page I saw when I first logged in. That looks like the same Manage Verifications treasure hunt box as above, but it’s on a different page. This page has a highly punchable mom and baby. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t want to punch them under normal circumstances, but at that point, I was imagining that fucking baby sitting in front of a computer hand-coding this stupid website and I just wanted to punch the kid and the mother… in the vagina.
But do you spy what I spy with my little eye? Over there on the right, more than halfway down a list of grayed-out actions is a Manage Verification link! Woot! I’ll spare you for now, smiley mom and coding baby, since I’ve come to the promised land!
I clicked edit and it told me it wanted proof that I’m a citizen. OK, I can prove I’m a citizen. I took a photo of my driver’s license and tried to upload it:
Well, that’s just fucking helpful as all getout. Eventually, after about 4 hours, the page finished loading and I was able to upload the picture which took about 7 hours.
Seriously, California, tell me how much this will cost now, please. 4 or 5 clicks and about 9 months later, it gave me the information we’ve all been waiting for, the money shot, so to speak:
What? ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?
Premium assistance of $0.00. $208 per month for 2-star rated insurance with copays out the ass that only kick in AFTER I spend $5,000 on health care in a year? Are you kidding me? You want me to spend $2,503.56 per year on insurance that will cost me another $5,000 in deductibles before it pays for ANYTHING?
Where is the affordable? Where is the care? Where is the act? The act won’t be done by me. I’d rather pay $0 in health insurance premiums and possibly have to spend $6,350 on health care than spend $2,500 so I can spend a maximum of $6,350 on health care.
Does that kind of health insurance even make sense? Seriously, unless you have an illness, who would pay $208 a month for health insurance that will cost you an additional $5,000 before it does a thing?
Once again, I fall right in the middle. I don’t make enough to afford it on my own, but I make too much to get any assistance whatsoever. What the fucking fuck? I’ll takes my chances instead of signing up for your overpriced, 2-star bullshit. I look forward to getting socked with that tax penalty because I can’t afford your shitty health insurance. Thanks for wasting my time. I’m moving to Canada.