Disappointing was the word of the day for anyone anticipating the Oct. 1 unveiling of the Affordable Care Act.
First, it was completely overshadowed by news of the shutdown of the federal government. Rightfully so, but still, Oct. 1 was supposed to be a big deal. It was the first day people could check out new insurance plans.
Even more disappointing was that we couldn't do that. I tried logging on to the Washington Healthplanfinder website at 7:45 a.m., and had no luck. I kept trying all day, and didn't get on until 3 p.m.
It was a bit of a personal disappointment for me, at least, professionally speaking. I had arranged to have a photographer at Columbia Valley Community Health to take pictures of what I figured could have been long lines of people waiting for help to sign up the first day. Since I work in Twisp, our photographer, Mike Bonnicksen, was going to call me if he found anyone willing to talk about their experience on this first day, and of being among the first of millions expected to enroll in new federally-subsidized plans.
I had also considered driving to Okanogan, where Family Health Centers is also helping people enroll.
We wanted to document these experiences on the first day, and I wanted to make contact with people who I might be able to include in an in-depth story I'm working on all this month. I want to know what people think about the process, what their situation with health insurance is now, and what they ended up with after enrolling.
I'm still looking for those personal experiences. I expect to do some in-person interviews, and some by telephone. So if you plan to sign up for insurance through the state's Healthplanfinder — whether you're getting help from an insurance broker or in-person assister, or doing it on your home computer — I'm interested in your experience.
Don't hesitate to contact me at 997-2512, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Then, I can pull together an article scheduled to publish in November about those experiences. I hope you won't be disappointed.