MASSILLON, Ohio - Lew Garrett is a self-employed independent contractor who needed health insurance. His previous plan was being canceled like millions of others.
So when the healthcare.gov site opened in October, he was one of the millions of people who logged on. He tried all hours of the night and day with no success. He then started keeping a log of his attempts -- how many times a day he tried and if he actually spoke to someone.
Then he thought the problem might be his computer. So he tried others, nearly a dozen in all.
Finally, on Dec. 17, he had success, but it certainly wasn't easy.
"It was 3,118 attempts. I had spoken to 49 people and only three of which I would trust with my order at the Mcdonald's drive-through," Lew says.
But is the Affordable Care Act affordable? His previous insurance cost him $500 a month.
"My new plan, which is much more encompassing than the last one, costs me a little more than $13 a month. It's truly affordable," Lew says.
He had a choice of 60 different plans and chose the one that included his doctors. He paid his first premium and received his new insurance card. But on Wednesday he received an email from the Federal Marketplace telling him he still wasn't signed up.
"So I had to go in again, and sure enough they had a couple of things wrong even though Aultcare said 'We have your number. You paid your first month's premium, and you're good,' " Lew says.
It may be that one of those 3,000 attempts put a minor glitch in the system, but he triple-checked with Aultcare to make sure he's covered, and, more importantly, his new insurance is affordable.
If you haven't signed up yet, now is the time to try. The deadline is March 31.
(Copyright Gannett 2014)