Arizonans who want to purchase subsidized health insurance through President Obama's health law must do it through the federal government, which is operating the state's marketplace.
To test this system I tried creating an account to purchase health insurance on the federal website, healthcare.gov Tuesday afternoon.
I picked a user name and a password and chose three security questions with answers.
But when I tried to log in, it didn't work. I received an error message.
Thinking that I perhaps did not properly create my account, I tried again.
The second time I received an orange message telling me there was a problem creating my account and that I should call the toll free number. So I called 1-800-318-2596.
The woman on the phone, Ashley, told me that the online marketplace was down and that I should try back tomorrow.
I decided to try a web chat. Here's how that went:
2:08:03 pm]: Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help.
[2:08:07 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.
[2:08:14 pm]: Welcome! You're now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.Thanks for contacting us. My name is Tinisha. To protect your privacy, please don't provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.
[2:08:38 pm]: Stephanie
Hi Tinisha. I am trying to create an account.
[2:09:06 pm]: Stephanie
But I keep getting an orange message with an exclamation point telling me my account can't be created at this time.
[2:09:18 pm]: Stephanie
Can you help me?
[2:09:53 pm]: Tinisha
Thanks for your interest in the Health Insurance Marketplace. We have a lot of visitors trying to use our website right now. This 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!
[2:10:33 pm]: Stephanie
Okay. Thank you. Do you think the glitches will ever get fixed?
[2:11:34 pm]: Tinisha
I apologize for the inconvenience.
[2:12:00 pm]: Stephanie
Thanks. So it will get fixed at some point?
[2:12:34 pm]: Tinisha
[2:12:49 pm]: Stephanie
Okay thanks for your time. I will keep trying to create an account.
[2:12:54 pm]: Tinisha
Thank you for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I was able to get some basic information about what would be available to purchase in Arizona. A quick search turned up 119 plans with a range of monthly premiums and that for one person ranged from $89 to $319, not including any federal subsidies.
There were links to the insurance companies selling those plans, too.
But as for signing up, that was a bust. What has been your experience? Have you had more success than me?