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Since I am not a procrastinator by nature, I attempted to sign up for Obamacare on the very first day, October 1, 2013, using the Washington State Healthcare Exchange.

No joy.

After much tinkering, WA State announced that the portal was fixed. I signed up in November 2013. The insurance premium was deducted from my account by "WA Healthcare Exchange," not by the insurance company. I was relieved that the premium was deducted, showing that the policy went through. However, I was troubled that the insurance company was not doing the billing directly.

I phoned the insurance company twice. Both times, the rep assured me that the site should have worked although they had no ability to tell whether the insurance company had actually received my payment since their computer screen did not show that information.

I tried to log in to the insurance company to check the details of my policy about 2 weeks ago.

No joy.

I phoned the company which told me that I now had a User ID number but would only be able to log in when my policy actually began on January 1, 2014. Further, they had not yet mailed out ID cards so I wouldn't have an ID card on January 1, 2014. But I could print out a temporary ID card from the company web site when I logged in.

I tried to log in today.

No joy.

Now I am not sure whether I am an Obamacare "orphan" -- someone who has bought and paid for insurance over a government exchange but has not actually been covered by the insurance. According to news reports, there are many "orphans." The talking heads assure us that any charges for health care that are paid out of pocket (because the patient does not have a valid insurance ID card) will be retroactively reimbursed when insurance is actually instated.

I just can't wait to see the chaos that will ensue when companies try to process these retroactive submissions for reimbursement.

I will try to log in tomorrow. If that doesn't work, I will phone the company tomorrow. I would be very surprised if I got through to a rep considering the pileup of people who will be signing up in the next 2 weeks due to extensions.

Several people whom I respect have been singing the praises of Obamacare on these TMF Boards. I'll believe it when I see it.

In the wise words of Yogi Berra, "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they're not."

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