You Can't Apply for ObamaCare by Website or by Mail

What's left? Carrier pigeons? Smoke signals?


I'm not sure what options that leaves. Carrier pigeons? Smoke signal ObamaCare applications?

Or maybe insurance agents can meet Federal health insurance officials in back alleys and exchange codes. "The weather is unseasonably warm in the Oval Office." "The crippled jackass brays at midnight."

Federal health officials, after encouraging alternate sign-up methods amid the fumbled rollout of their online insurance website, began quietly urging counselors around the country this week to stop using paper applications to enroll people in health insurance because of concerns those applications would not be processed in time…

"We received guidance from the feds recommending that folks apply online as opposed to paper," said Mike Claffey, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Insurance.

After a conference call earlier this week with federal health officials, Illinois health officials sent a memo Thursday to their roughly 1,600 navigators saying there is no way to complete marketplace enrollment through a paper application. The memo, which Claffey said was based on guidance from federal officials, said paper applications should be used only if other means aren’t available…

That contradicts what federal health officials told reporters during a national media call this week, during which they said there were no problems with paper applications…

In early November, President Barack Obama himself encouraged paper applications as one of several alternatives to the federal website.

The website is producing a whole lot of errors when it comes to properly passing along information, but Obama Inc. has decided that's a problem for insurance companies to deal with.

But the paper applications are still going through the website. So that just means someone is going to have to manually enter that data into the website.

With the supposedly state-of-the-art $600 million portal malfunctioning, President Barack Obama is urging Americans to go ahead and try to get health coverage by mailing in a paper application, calling the helpline or seeking help from one of the trained “assisters.”

But the truth is those applications — on paper or by phone — have to get entered into the same lousy website that is causing the problems in the first place. And the people processing the paper and calls don’t have any cyber secret passage to duck around that. They too have to deal with all the frustrations of — full-time.

“I feel like we’re sort of back in the era of control-alt-delete where we’re trying to figure out the different tricks that facilitate people’s enrollment,” said Jennifer Ng’andu, director of health policy for the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group that has been helping to publicize the Affordable Care Act.

I don't think Ctrl-Alt-Del is going to help you there. Though a lot of people seem to want to Ctrl-Alt-Del this administration.

Healthcare.con still lists paper as the top alternative for applying for ObamaCare. Even ahead of the torturous website process. Or you can try applying by phone... though operators have been known to be just as hapless as the website.

But this mess is typical of bureaucracies where no one is quite sure where anything is or what to do about it. Departments develop their own clashing methodologies and ignore conflicts.

Obama told people to drop the substandard website and go find a paper application. Now people are told to drop the paper applications and go to the website... even while the website is telling them to go fill out a paper application.

If you've ever dealt with the runaround from a bureaucracy, then you already know what's happening here.

Tags: Obamacare