Although millions of Americans who tried to navigate through the launch of Affordable Care Act exchange website became bogged down because of the overwhelming traffic and could not complete their health insurance applications this week, Alex Bustamante was among the folks who managed to cross the Obamacare goal line.
BizTimes put out a call on Twitter for respondents from Wisconsin who successfully enrolled through the exchange.
Bustamante was the first to respond. He is a 35-year-old budding entrepreneur who recently founded Bustamante Media, a marketing company that helps organizations reach the Latino population, and The Exchange jewelry store. Both companies are based in Milwaukee.
“I was able to get through. And when I did, I had 85 different plans to choose from, which was really awesome. They had Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum plans to choose from. So you have a lot of options,” Bustamante said. “It was tough a couple of times. I had to re-log in and log out. But eventually I got through. It was glitchy. But I was even able to call in and ask questions.”
And when he did “get through,” the plan he selected is the Gold plan being provided by the Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative of Milwaukee.
Bustamante, who is single, said his plan will start at $180 per month, with a $500 deductible.
That is half as expensive for him as the $180 he was paying every two weeks for his share of his premium at his previous employer, a larger corporation, Bustamante said.
“I’ll be paying a lot less out of my payroll,” he said.
Bustamante said he would not have been able to get insurance before the Affordable Care Act because he has a pre-existing medical condition related to his weight that would have made him uninsurable.
Bustamante said he believes that when the glitches of the system are fixed and people can navigate through the web site better, they will be pleasantly surprised about its functionality, flexibility and affordability of the exchanges.
“I do believe that,” Bustamante said.
He will have until Jan. 1 to pay for his first month’s premium.
The White House announced Friday that the web site (www.healthcare.gov) will be taken down during off-peak hours over the weekend to repair the glitches and add more capacity.