Consumers have discovered yet another hoop to jump through when attempting to register for Obamacare — the amount of identification they have to submit before the government's glitch-filed website will even allow them to look at their options.
They cannot see what plans are available until they have uploaded or mailed in copies of sensitive personal documents such as social security cards, driving licenses or voter registration cards, the New York Times reports.
"I am in no man's land," Roger Hampton of Boca Raton, Fla., told The Times. "I have been waiting patiently for my ID verification to come through, which has not occurred thus far. So I can't see what plans are available."
The Obama Administration admitted Monday that this verification process is a problem that has kept thousands from comparing available health insurance plans.
Users are required to either upload or mail copies of their ID. If the government isn't able to verify a person's identity, they are directed to call the credit reporting agency Experian for "ID proofing."
According to the Administration, this process is key to preventing fraud and identity theft.
However, many consumers are getting stuck in this process and haven't even been able to view available plans yet.
"I have been stuck in identity proofing since early October," John Filbin of New London, N.H., told The Times.
"We don't need extra time," said Filbin about the eight day extension to sign up for coverage that will go into effect Jan.1. "We've been ready since Oct. 1. I have emailed and hard mailed my driver's license. We've made our way through the slow and troubled website. Is there going to be a fix for us?"
Michigan resident Mary Swanson said that she and her husband tried several times to research HealthCare.gov plans during October but were unable to because they couldn't get through the ID proofing step, Michigan Live reported.
Not all the exchange websites work this way. Writing on Americanblog.com, John Aravosis said that the website set up by the District of Columbia doesn't require a person to prove their identity to look at plans. That was OK for him, but not for his sister who lives in Illinois.
Aravosis, who supports the new healthcare law, said he was trying to research federal plans for his sister when he ran into this step. Eventually he "quit the entire venture in disgust."
In an article entitled "He Just Watned to Browse Health Care Plans. He Got the Spanish Inquisition," Aravosis asked, "Unless this is all part of the ongoing glitch — and I'm sure some of it is, but not all of it is — why should I have to prove who I am in order to simply browse the damn plans?"
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