Applying for Obamacare could be painful

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to be as easy as shopping online. But the application form is nothing like one-click buying.

By Aimee Picchi Mar 18, 2013 7:58AM
Image: Man with paperwork (© MM Productions/Corbis/Corbis)

If you think doing taxes is fun, you're going to love applying for Obamacare. 

Getting benefits from the Affordable Care Act may require filling out a 21-page form, according to a draft proposal. And the online version doesn't sound any easier, with a hefty 21 steps, according to the Associated Press. That's a far cry from's (AMZN) one-step ordering process.

The complexity raises the question of whether the application form will actually backfire, scaring off the very consumers the law is meant to serve. 

While the government estimates the paper application should take 45 minutes to complete, that seems like wishful thinking. It's like when a cookbook advises you to set aside 30 minutes to prepare a complicated dish. If your gut tells you that time frame applies only to experts, you're probably right. 

"This lengthy draft application will take a considerable amount of time to fill out and will be difficult for many people to be able to complete," Ron Pollack, executive director of advocacy group Families USA, told the AP. "It does not get you to the selection of a plan."

Would-be Obamacare customers need to supply information such as their current employment status, their income, what deductions they take and other income from sources such as rental properties or capital gains. 

And the application is just the start. Applicants will have their paperwork examined by three major U.S. agencies, including the IRS. An applicant's income, identity and citizenship will be reviewed.

Of course, the application is still only in draft form, which means it may change before it's issued to the public. But perhaps it's not surprising that the form is so lengthy or complicated, given that the government isn't known for consumer-friendly paperwork. 

More on moneyNOW

Mar 18, 2013 9:41AM
Democrats deserve what they get.  I doubt any doctor will accept any patient on Obamacare.   I will believe in Obamacare when the Obama and his family, and ALL GOVERNMENT workers, Federal, State and Local, ONLY are by law permitted to have Obamacare.

Until then I will not vote for a democrat at any level, for office.   
Mar 18, 2013 9:49AM

When the Federal Government is involved - you can expect massive paperwork and dealing with people who know less than you about the subject matter. IE: - Internal Revenue Service- and who is responsible for administering and collecting the taxes (not fees) - IRS.




If Congress had this plan - it would change for sure.  We should demand Congress has to be under this wonderful thing called OBAMACARE - "The Affordable Care Act".  BULL****!!!


Mar 18, 2013 11:50AM

Remember Pelosi's statement that "we have to pass this bill to find out what is in it"? Now we are finding out. Government stupidity personified.


Mar 18, 2013 8:55AM
A large segment of the population cant balance a checkbok, properly fill out an employment application, of course they dont have much experience in that, medical records, or anything else requring fundamental language skills. Wait till they  flood the system with error ridden forms and the more capable will scam the system with fraudlent applications. Obamacare will choke on its own beaurocracy, at least for early yeas, until they can hire the 100,000 + to administer the program-and 16,000 IRS agents for enforcement.
Maybe the Gov't needs to stay out of the business arena.   It puts too many bureaucrats into the mix trying to justify their own jobs.
Mar 18, 2013 11:39AM
About the only thing simple regarding ObamaCare was those supporting it.
Mar 18, 2013 11:32AM

Color me shocked.


First it is FAR more expensive and now it is overly complex and bureaucratic.


Who could have guessed that...

Mar 18, 2013 11:48AM

This country is screwed with our stupid **** ANTI-AMERICAN Black President.  If you don't have insurance, it your own fault.  The majority of the A-holes benefitting from this stupid **** plan are the ones that get everything else for free.  They already know how to manipulate the system and get their health care for free so lets just keep on enabling all of the worthless illegal's that need to get the HELL out of our country and go back to where they came from.


Mar 18, 2013 11:16AM
So just like IRS forms, people will need to hire someone to fill out these healthcare forms!
Mar 18, 2013 11:17AM
It won't be hard for the leach class. They will have an army of liberals to help them get signed up. They have to keep the numbers up on the new voting slaves.
Mar 18, 2013 11:23AM
The Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act was constitutional if it is enacted as a tax.

So why would anyone be surprised that this new tax form would be long and complicated to fill out.

And wouldn't applying for Obamacare be the same as submitting an application to be taxed?
Mar 18, 2013 11:25AM
NOTHING! the government controls is cost effective.
Mar 18, 2013 11:58AM

the dumocrats got exactly what they paid for, a tax increase and nothing in return, except another 15% tax at year end for not having insurance, how dumb do you have to be to think you are getting something for nothing. I hope every person that voted for obama has to pay the 15% tax at years end, you deserve it.

Mar 18, 2013 11:33AM
Take a page out of Nimwit Pelosi's game plan,  " I will read after I see the Doctor."
Mar 18, 2013 11:41AM

What people just now come to their senses, Name me a well government run program?  Can't think of one can you!!

Mar 18, 2013 12:05PM
And this helps who? This man who is our president has done NOTHING  to help anyone other than himself and other Democrats.He like the MANY who came before him,Lied to get elected, and now is after his own agenda. The Constitution has been around for how long and served our country as well as when our forefathers drafted it and put it into effect and this man comes in and wants to change all of it? Where are the jobs he promised the jobless? Where is the help for the victims of the Hurricane Sandy who still are homeless? Its more important to pose for Press ops with The Governor of New Jersey,then to actually help those who need their lives back. Its still cold Mr. President to those people who are living in tents and do not have a real roof over their heads. Do you have Obama Care Mr. President? Does your family ? Does Nancy (NOSEY SMILEX) Pelosi? Who are you to decide for us,what is best for us? My father is elderly now and it is hard enough trying to help him even with the simple things like writing a check to pay OUTRAGEOUS tax bills and yet you say this will make everything better. What happened to "For the People,By the People?" Oh, I excuse me, I forgot, you work with your own set of rules and your own agenda,My mistake for thinking I still was in America. I am proud of my heritage,and of my ancestors who came before me and were LEGAL IMMIGRANTS and were told to go HOME since they could not speak English. WHY is it OK and EXPECTED for me to learn to speak another language in my own country?  Why are these ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS treated better than people who have lived in AMERICA their whole lives, and some who gave an arm leg or sometimes both, and they are living in POVERTY or on the street, while ILLEGAL'S get FREE HEALTHCARE AND OTHER BENEFITS? I am not prejudice in any way shape or form. I am not denying that immigrants work hard,but why are our jobs going to them,and they get a free ride and we get OBAMA CARELESS? Home of the brave ,Land of the........ Not free any more.
Mar 18, 2013 11:37AM

All Obama care is going to do is bankrupt this country then the liberals will be happy because they took down the greatest country in the world Will make Obama, quite happy and very pleased with himself. His administration should be also the same if they say it won't bankrupt this country. Their lying to you through their eyeteeth this effect, it will bankrupt this country, it will bring it down. And right now there's not a damn thing we can do to stop it. So be happy if your liberal be sad if you're conservative for all you liberals out there have a lousy day for all you conservatives out there. Try to have a good day is not going be easy, but at least you can do is try.

Mar 18, 2013 11:13AM
I cannot take anymore pain Obamacare does not care for the people that are already having financial problems I just had a heart attack,lost our house,got Federal,State,and county Taxes to pay while the IRS employees owe the government millions and the rich keep getting fatter wallets.
Mar 18, 2013 11:25AM
Will we have to balance a ball on our nose too? What a joke.
Mar 18, 2013 11:18AM
you can take this oamacare andyou know where to put it just anotherway for big shot leaders to take more money off of the low income and poor people he better worry about jobs for this country so they can pay for insurance also he better worry about north korea and iran there getting out of hand if not stopped now  usa is in big trouble if these countrys get togeather for sure
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