Thursday, November 21, 2013 superstitions

Some navigators [who help people sign up for health insurance on] have rituals that they think might improve their access to the federal website. Mr. Trevorrow, who works for Resources for Human Development, makes sure to clear his computer’s browsing history, or cache, before trying to enroll someone. John Foley, a navigator with the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County in Florida, avoids enrolling people early in the week because he thinks that is when the site has more problems. ...

On Friday, Mr. Trevorrow helped a client complete an online application in one sitting for the first time, he said, getting to the point where they could start shopping for plans. “We were both as excited as we could be,” he said.

But then they encountered a problem: The website said that his client was not eligible for a subsidy to help with her premium costs. Based on the income she had reported, Mr. Trevorrow was certain that she should, in fact, get a subsidy.

“It did bring an abrupt halt to the proceedings,” he said. “However, we ended on an upbeat note. I told that consumer this was the farthest I’d ever gotten with an application, it’s the smoothest I’d ever seen the system run, and I was very optimistic that we could finish.”
--Abby Goodnough, NYT, on the new blowing on the Nintendo cartridge