Signing up for health care

Signing up for health care through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its associated websites is fairly simple and self-explanatory. Healthcare.gov has two large icons on its homepage: ‘See plans before I apply’ and ‘Apply now for health coverage’ are easy choices to help individuals get started.

If an individual chooses to browse health plans, the site will walk the coverage seeker through a series of simple and non intrusive questions. Eventually the site will lead to other associated health care hosting websites depending on which state or region the citizen resides.

Site maintenance and upkeep is ongoing with most of the health care websites. The Washington Healthplanfinder website has been under maintenance on a few occasions. This website has given me a little trouble over the last few weeks. It was under maintenance during my first four visits.

Once an individual is directed to the correct website they will need to create an account. Similar to an email or Facebook account, users will need to provide their identity, username, and a password. Eventually they will be asked to submit employment information, financial statements, home address, and more. All of this information allows the Healthplanfinder to determine which plan will work best.

I took the time to go through all of the signup steps. The time it took me to complete the enrollment process was approximately one hour. However, I did run into a problem with the verification of my citizenship. Being born in California and thus a citizen of the United States, this bothered me. I was not quite sure as to why my citizenship would be questioned if I gave all the correct information. I then had to submit additional documents to verify my citizenship.

During the verification process of my citizenship, I had to upload sensitive documents. I had to upload my birth certificate and social security card. The site would not accept anything over 2MB, so I took photos with my iPhone and sent them to myself through email and then uploaded them to the site. After a few tries the files finally uploaded.

Since then I have been successfully enrolled, but still await verification of my citizenship before I can choose a plan and get started on my coverage. The time it took to enroll online on the Washington Healthplanfinder was not long, and the website was actually very helpful in troubleshooting with explanations and terms of conditions.

As someone who does not entirely agree with the ACA, I have to say the Washington state website is well done and user friendly. I was reluctant at first and wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. I’m not saying that I am a fan, but I am enrolled and look forward to finding a plan that suits my needs. After all, the ACA is the law now and if I want to avoid fines or other setbacks in the future and have healthcare readily available to my family and I, we need to be enrolled.

If you want to be a law abiding citizen and avoid fines, I recommend using the Washington Healthplanfiner website to sign up for health care: wahealthplanfinder.org. It won’t take too long and hopefully there will be a plan that best fits your needs.