WASHINGTON – Earlier today, the House Republican Conference released a video highlighting actual excerpts from an online chat between a potential customer and a customer service representative for Healthcare.gov. The individual who experienced the chat session was Adrian Smith, 34, of New Jersey. Smith released the following statement to confirm his story with Healthcare.gov:
“Thank you for your inquiry about my experience on October 11, 2013 using the healthcare.gov support chat. I can confirm that the excerpts used in the YouTube video and the full transcript posted at www.gop.gov/yourstory is authentic and exactly as I experienced on October 11. I am a resident of New Jersey and work for a higher education institution. I am not employed by the Republican Party.
“After a recent job transition, my family needed to make an informed decision about healthcare options for the approaching year. After repeated registration problems, I was able to create a healthcare.gov account on October 11 and began the tedious process of entering specific personal information about our family. Each page resulted in a long wait before being able to proceed. At some point in the process it appeared that our family information became corrupted and I was unable to proceed with the family profile.
“When I reached out to the online chat function for assistance, I was professionally greeted by a customer service representative named ‘Dean.’ At this point, I had hope for a resolution that would allow me to see the pricing and coverage information my family needed. Unfortunately, the chat experience was as frustrating as creating my healthcare.gov account. ‘Dean’s’ responses made little sense, were at times comical, and did not provide the help I needed. Ultimately, I lost faith in healthcare.gov and made the decision to pursue alternate options for the healthcare needs of my family.”
The following is the full conversation between a potential customer and a customer service representative for Healthcare.gov. The spelling and grammar represent the exact conversation as it took place.
[09:33:52 am]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.
[09:33:57 am]: Welcome! You're now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Thanks for contacting us. My name is Dean. To protect your privacy, please don't provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.
[09:34:17 am]: Dean: Welcome. How can I help you?
[09:34:23 am]: Adrian: In the application process I am at setup 7 of family & household. Clicking Save & Continue does not allow me to move forward.
[09:34:55 am]: Dean: I apologize for the inconvenience. I understand that it is frustrating.
[09:35:17 am]: Dean: Thanks for your interest in the Health Insurance Marketplace. We have a lot of visitors trying to use our website right now. That is causing some glitches for some people trying to create accounts or log in. Keep trying and thanks for your patience. You might have better success during off-peak hours, like later at night or early in the morning. We’ll continue working to improve the site so you can get covered. You have until March 2014 to enroll.
[09:35:43 am]: Dean: Don't lose your sanity over this website. Try it. If it doesn't work, walk away. Try it tomorrow.
[09:36:08 am]: Dean: You have two months to apply, enrole in a plan, and make your first premium payment, to get coverage starting Jan,1,2014.
[09:36:18 am]: Adrian: This isn't a login problem.
[09:36:32 am]: Adrian: What you sent seems like a canned response.
[09:36:55 am]: Dean: It was .
[09:37:03 am]: Adrian: I had the login problems for the first 11 days.
[09:37:28 am]: Adrian: I have until Oct 30 to make a decision about coverage for my family. I don't have until March
[09:38:13 am]: Dean: Inagine you are stuck in this site's rush hour traffic . You still exist .You just aren't going anywhere
[09:38:39 am]: Adrian: Rush hour?
[09:38:50 am]: Adrian: This isn't rush hour.
[09:39:11 am]: Adrian: Do they pay you to make jokes?
[09:39:15 am]: Dean: Millions of people want to do this yesterday.
[09:39:30 am]: Adrian: Now you sound like a fortune cookie.
[09:39:49 am]: Adrian: Next you are going to tell me about advise from strangers?
[09:39:54 am]: Dean: I'm flattered.
[09:40:10 am]: Adrian: You have no way to assist those that ask for help?
[09:40:24 am]: Dean: Don't run with sissors
[09:40:41 am]: Adrian: Why is there even a chat option on the page if you can't lookup an application and assist?
[09:40:43 am]: Dean: You can contact the Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center. Their telephone number is 1-800-318-2596. They may be able to assist you.
[09:40:54 am]: Adrian: Then what is the chat function for?
[09:41:08 am]: Dean: Information
[09:41:27 am]: Adrian: What information? The phone number of the call center?
[09:42:01 am]: Dean: I can't use your personal information, the call center can
[09:42:46 am]: Adrian: I am not talking about PII, just step seven that Save & Continue won't work on.
[09:43:20 am]: Dean: We are available to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach us toll free at 1-800-318-2596. Hearing impaired callers using TTY technology can reach us at 1-855-889-4325. In addition to English and Spanish, we can provide assistance in a number of languages through an interpretation service. We are closed on Memorial Day, Independence
[09:44:59 am]: Dean: Thank you for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
[09:45:20 am]: 'Dean' has left the chat session.
[09:45:22 am]: Your chat session is over. Thanks for contacting us, and we hope we've answered your questions. Have a great day.
[09:45:22 am]: 10/11/2013
Disclaimer: For information about the individual who had this experience please call 202-225-5107