Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Success - Blood, Sweat, Grrrr & Insurance

I was SUPER stressed about getting our health insurance nailed ASAP. I'd been on the MNSure website lots of times researching available plans, checked to make sure we would still be able to see the doctors we've developed a rapport with, moaned and groaned about the increased cost, and waited, waited until November 1st when the plans were supposed to go live. Why worry? Because there was only a single plan that really suited our needs and there was a cap on membership of many of the plans at only 20,000 people. About 250,000 of us were looking for new insurance, and others were probably looking to switch from one policy to another. Yeah - I wanted to be one of the 20,000.

It's one of those things you really don't want to see when operating
under a deadline, but a splash screen telling us that the website
was under maintenance really didn't start my Tuesday off well. 

I tossed and turned and awoke at 12:30 am. "Well," I thought. "It's November 1st now. I'll just go down and get this taken care of." So I went downstairs, sat down at the computer and pulled up the MNSure website. Nope! The website said it was down for maintenance until 4:00 am. Sighing, I set my alarm for 3:45 and went back to a restless sleep.

And yet again, time after time, the website was still under maintenance.
I finally gave up and ran to the gym, still arriving on time for
my morning swim. 

3:45 am came and  I was soon sitting back at the computer refreshing and refreshing the page. But no luck. Finally, at 4:45 am I turned off the computer and grabbed my gym bag. No blog, but at least I could go ahead and swim. Maybe they would be up and running when I returned in 1-1/2 hours.

So, it was supposed to be live at 6:00 am. Was it? No. 

I was back from the gym and at my computer again at 6:30 am. Was the website live? Could I access it to get my insurance? NO, of course not. They had a new splash screen that said the website would be live at 6:00 am, but they lied. I shut the computer off and left for the shop. After a quick breakfast, I set up my laptop at the shop and settled down.

I often have breakfast at Perkins. One egg, two pieces of bacon
and two pieces of toast plus a full pot of coffee. Heaven on
a plate and a good start to my day. 

It was now 7:15 am. The website was actually up and running, so I jumped through the hoops I was supposed to, selected the plan I wanted, and pushed the "Enroll" button. Nothing happened. Instead, I got a box at the top that told me if I was having problems, to contact MNSure via phone. Calling the number I got a recording saying that their hours started at 8:00 am. Reading farther on the page, it appeared that I might need a facilitator to purchase the insurance - a new wrinkle. I left messages for a couple of different facilitators.

MNSure isn't working really well. We're not actually a part
of the federal system, we're independent, and the insurance
companies are losing money - or so they say. All I know is
we needed insurance for the coming year and had no choice. 

At 8:00 am, after trying a few more things, I phoned MNSure. Of course I was put on hold, but that's what speaker phones are for. After about 20 minutes I finally had a person to speak to. I went through what I had done, he confirmed that I had done things correctly and passed me on to a specialist who would be able to get me enrolled. Another long wait on hold, but I finally was connected to Marcy. Apparently the system was trying to make my application a 2016 app instead of a 2017 app. Fortunately she was able to get that taken care of on her end, switch it to a 2017 app, and get us enrolled in the plan of my choice. I think. I hope. I'll still be nervous until the final email comes through confirming it, but it looks like we have insurance for next year. After more than an hour on the phone, I was finally set for 2017. What a saga!

Finally, success, although I'll only feel confident when I get
a written confirmation. Still, job well done. 

Obviously there was no blog yesterday. That's extremely rare for me unless I'm on a trip, so you were owed an explanation. I was able to actually get some sleep last night, although leg cramps awakened me in the middle of the night. Too much stress over the last few days. Good grief! Happy Wednesday to all, and hopes for a calmer day today for all of us.

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