I asked one of my OTR colleagues – Charlie – to call the IRS and connect with them about a navigator. Yes, the exchanges don’t go on line until October 1, but you figure the navigators are ready to help and explain, right? Think again..here is Charlie’s report back to me:
I spent the afternoon trying to connect with an Obamacare navigator… and after three phone calls and more than an hour on hold, I was forced to leave a voicemail! No one answered.
Here’s the story:
STEP 1: I called the IRS.
Time: 7 minutes
Summary: My goal was to talk to a human being, but the automated system couldn’t direct me to anyone. After exhausting every option, the system finally directed me to healthcare.gov.
STEP 2: I called Healthcare.gov.
Time: 6 minutes
Summary: A person actually picked up! She answered basic questions (basics such as how I need to have insurance or pay a penalty), but when I started asking more complicated questions she directed me to the New York Health Exchange where I could “talk to” an Obamacare navigators!
STEP 3: I called the navigators, “Community Health Advocates,” as directed by the Exchange’s website.
Time: 1 hour, 2 minutes
Summary: I was placed on hold for more than an hour! Finally, 4PM rolled around, and that’s when their office closes for the day, so I had to leave a voice mail! Do you think I’ll get a call back?
On the Record w/ Greta van Susteren
Fox News Channel