Stuck partway through

Ways to get your application moving again

Published: December 03, 2013 02:54 PM

During the long dark night of's dysfunctionality, legions of would-be customers have gotten stuck at various stages of the process—at account creation, identity verification, the entering of family information, and plan selection. Some people have uploaded or physically mailed requested documentation into, apparently, a black hole never to be acknowledged or seen again.

If you are one of them, what should you do now that seems to be working reasonably well?

You have several options, according to Julie Bataille, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which runs

1. If your problem is at account creation, start over again with a new user name and password.

2. If it's later in the process, hit the new reset button. "One of the new pieces of functionality that went in over the weekend is a 'click a remove' button to get rid of an old application they have been having a problem with,” Bataille said. In this case, you need to start the application over from the beginning.

3. Another option is to contact the call center and have a person help unstick your application, Bataille said.

4. She said the site now makes it easier to upload documents, although she provided no details and I haven't seen this. If you want to try this feature, you might want to do so with a call-center person on the line.

If you get to the end of the process and actually enroll in a plan, you should see a page where you can pay your first month's premium. If you don't see this page, you're not done. Once you've paid the premium, Bataille said it's probably a good precaution to call your chosen plan to verify that you're enrolled.

And remember, you need to get all this done by Dec. 23 if you want coverage in place by Jan 1.

Got a question for our health insurance expert? Ask it here; be sure to include the state you live in. And if you can't get enough health insurance news here, follow me on Twitter @NancyMetcalf.

Health reform countdown: We are doing an article a day on the new health care law until Jan. 1, 2014, when it takes full effect. (Read the previous posts in the series.) To get health insurance advice tailored to your situation, use our Health Law Helper, below.

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