A Reporter’s Struggle To Sign Up On O’Malley’s Obamacare Exchange

After the deeply flawed rollout of Maryland’s Obamacare exchange, Gov. Martin O’Malley recently declared the “website is now functional for most citizens.” But for one Baltimore Sun reporter, that was far from the case:

For a chunk of two recent days, I tried to buy insurance on the Maryland health exchange.

My editors asked me to do this because Gov. Martin O’Malley recently told a national television audience that the “website is now functional for most citizens.”

They wanted to know what “functional” meant, especially after hearing stories from consumers about a glitch-prone website created under the Affordable Care Act for the uninsured and underinsured. Marylanders have described frozen screens, lost information, error messages and even mistaken identity.

My own enrollment took 5 hours and 22 minutes over two days, two calls to the exchange’s call center, seven times entering my personal information, two computers and two web browsers. …

Exchange spokeswoman Dori Henry would not say whether 5 hours and 22 minutes was a reasonable time frame to enroll.

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