Reporter attempts healthcare signup

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By Arin McKenna

Are you ready to go online and sign up for health insurance? Three words of advice — use the phone. Or have something on hand to throw or break other than your computer.
New Mexico did not have time to get its own system in place for signing up individuals (it does have an exchange for small business), so New Mexico residents will be signing up through healthcare.gov, at least in theory.
I began my attempt to sign up through the website a week ago. After several attempts that resulted in blank pages and error messages, I finally managed to create my profile and move on to the “verify identity” page.
I was asked such things as which company my auto loan was through (a valid question) and which of three phone numbers I had previously had (none of the above — they were all in Nevada, a state I have never even visited).
Two attempts resulted in a “failure to verify” message, with a phone number to call Equifax and an incident number (make sure you write this down).
After several attempts, I was able to reach a person at Equifax and was informed my identity had been verified. When I was again able to log on to healthcare.gov (after several tries), the verification appeared there as well.

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