These EBBP Water Bottles came out awesome! ‘Dat piff, though! With the name label so you can magic marker your name on the bottle. And the subtle “Three Feet For Safety Act” CVC 21760 code, inspired from the bible verses printed on In ‘n Out burger wrappers. Pick up one or two EBBP Water Bottles here or in person at the next EBBP. Bike Party!
Wheels of Steel cycling club is commonly represented in social media as “WoS” #WoS.
Spelled with a capital “W” and “S” and lowercase “o” as used in the example: “On New Years Day, I’m gonna ham it to the top of Mount Diablo with WoS.”
What started as a Friday night group ride has evolved into a lifestyle actively created with the bicycle #bikelife. Regardless of where and how WoS is worn or displayed, WoS is a mindset for transformation and health through best intentions. Get on your bike and make a difference: RIDE EVERY DAY!
The WoS logos can be seen on traffic signs, bicycle framesets, bespoke clothing, on or around cyclists riding together in the hills and mountains of the San Francisco East Bay Area.
WoS signature riding style, “It’s not about the bike, it’s about you”:
I remember WoS 92510 (stomping ground area codes 925 and 510):
WoS on a bike frame:
WoS on a jersey:
WoS on a traffic sign:
WoS at Port Sprints:
WoS on a Cup:
WoS on Social Media:
WoS at Twilight:
WoS out there:
WoS leading East Bay Bike Party:
WoS on spokecards:
WoS on Facebook:
WoS on Strava:
WoS inspiring others to ride their best:
Photos by: Jillian Betterly, Nick Erickson, Fernando Munguia, Candice Phrogus, Linda Poeng, Wilson Tai.
After speaking to my colleague, Nio, about his successful application process to Affordable Healthcare Covered California, I have a second attempt to supplement my previous walkthrough attempt. I’ve changed browsers to Internet Explorer (Nio confirms he used Google Chrome with success) and instead of applying in the middle of the day when online traffic is highest, I’ve waited until the wee morning hours (3:30 PST California time) to apply.
I want to share these quick links which provide concrete facts:
The income guidelines graph: https://www.coveredca.
The sign up steps, hung up earlier in the afternoon, went through without a hitch and I was presented with a five question and answer security poll to confirm identity.
Finally, I reached the homepage to “Apply Now”. The information you input should have been written down in a secure place for your own records. You’ll need the username, password, and PIN number later.
There are a number of steps/windows that follow. “Would you like to get help paying for your health insurance?” Well, duh! “How many members are in the household?” and “How did you hear about Covered California?” On the next page of verification, the site asks for your permission via a click on the checkbox, to verify citizenship, tax information and satisfactory immigration status.
This is the first time the site offers you a ballpark figure for turnaround time: 15 minutes. You’ll need a social security number SSN to apply for health insurance. Otherwise, you’re instructed to visit www.ssa.gov. Since I’m applying as a single person, I entered my own information but the site has options to add additional household members. The “Household Introduction” step took about 2 minutes.
The site asks your demographic info like marital status, history of disability and medical expenses. Oddly, it asks if you’re a “Federally-recognized Indian Tribe.” The next page clarifies the oddity by asking about tax information in which “Peace Corps” and “Veterans Health Program” are listed amongst others for minimum standard value health insurance in the year 2014. Lastly, “optional data” asks for your language and race – like most documents, these questions like “Are you Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish Origin,” are optional and do not need to be answered – they can be left blank if you wish. The “Personal Data” section took about 5 minutes.
The “Income Introduction” section will be conveniently filled out with your most current federal income tax return. You’ll add employment income like who your employer is, and how much money you get and if you’re paid hourly, daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or annually. I ballparked this number. Like the tax return, you’ll electronically sign the document with the “Electronic PIN” you chose when setting up your registration. After you’ve signed, you’re forwarded to the next page, Eligibility Results.
“Submit Documents” is a proof of California Residency. Documents should be scanned with a scanner, or you can use your smartphone and take a photo, email or upload in a preferred method to your desktop. Documents can include: Voter registration, employment pay stub, California driver’s license or CA ID, utility bill (PG&E and Comcast come to mind) in the same name as applicant. The instructions say you have 30 days to submit the document. I choose convenience with the driver’s license because I already have that scanned and immediately upload the required document.
You should write a concise description of the uploaded document in the “comments box” and SAVE AND SUBMIT. You will get a pop up box that says, “Verification request has been created successfully. Your verification request ID is XXXXXXXXXX.
That’s it for now and I’ll await the eligibility results from the “Exchange staff” after review. Follow-up to come!
Each state has its own Affordable Healthcare site. As a Californian, I start at: https://www.coveredca.com/
As an individual that works as an independent contractor, I choose to “Apply Now” and go through the steps. As soon as step 2, I’m inputting the social security number and step 3, inputting my mailing address. The applicant process is similar to a typical income tax online process.
The lower left of the Covered.ca website has an identification which I imagine will help with technical calls to the customer service phone number when the application process breaks:
- Build Version Id 34050 | Runmode: prod
On the account summary, after putting comprehensive personal details needed to create an online account anywhere, I click next with a sigh of relief, but then — the site breaks! I’m left on the same page that refreshes with:
- javax.xml.ws.soap.SOAPFaultException: java.lang.IllegalArgumentException: No Configuration was registered that can handle the configuration named xellerate
With a web development background, I instinctually Google search the text above and pull up results that reflect a technical backend problem that I am in no shape to solve – it’s related to Oracle. “Oracle Identity Analytics System Integrator’s Guide 11g Release 1,” looks scary and complicated.
Returning to the application page I’m stuck at, the next logical step is clicking the “blue circle” icon with a letter “i” in it – a universal sign for, “Help me!” Questions and answers include: What does the back button do? The questions and answers are dumbed down below the level of introductory non-computer user, and I’m still frustratingly shouting, “Help me!”
Because, as a society where customer service has been outsourced and marginalized to low priority, we’ve been trained to experience poor customer service and put up with computer automated messages and/or nightmarish 1-hour phone calls to fix our Internet connections or pay bills. My last choice is to phone – it’s the last resort emergency choice. At the top of the website is the “Customer Service” at 1-800-300-1506.
The automated voice recording of a pleasant voiced woman says, “Thank you for calling, we’re currently experiencing high call volumes. Please visit our website at www.coveredca.com where you can apply online. Good bye.” The automated voice recording then offers the obligatory pleasant voiced woman Spanish translation ending with, “…Adios.”
Not satisfied, I call again and get an automated voicemail repeating the above but adds an additional menu with the distinct message, “Remember, open enrollment is through March 31, 2014. Your expected wait time is greater than 30-minutes.”
Next, I click Help and see a promising “Online Chat” link in which I repeat the personal information fields and am informed I’m the 603rd user in queue for online chat and should expect to wait 1-hour-and-35-minutes. This isn’t to solve the problem, this is to online chat with a representative.
Crushed, I cancel and close the chat request. At this point, I’m beating my head into the desk and for giggles, click continue to reach a surprise “processing” ticker.
I’m transferred to a familiar log in page. Since I’ve already created a “log in”, I enter it but am replied with an “invalid username or password”. All the previous personal information entered, input, and submitted, is lost without receipt. Fail: I’m required to re-start the application process.
I was keen on discrediting the online stories stating the difficulty and failure of the Affordable Healthcare Act sign ups, however, with my experience, online signups are not looking bright. There isn’t a mobile version of the website. I’m going to attempt using another browser like Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.
Update published here: http://www.racingmix.com/2014/01/covered-california-walkthrough/
Captain’s log: 1/16/14 blue skied warm Winter afternoon, using the Google Chrome browser on a desktop PC with a high speed broadband Internet connection, Concord, California.
*Mirroring curiosity, another user in his “mid-30s, working in the technology sector, who currently has health insurance through Kaiser Permanente”, experienced a similiarly frustrating experience and posted his results at: http://tanrants.blogspot.com/2013/10/5-changes-that-will-made-covered.html
**The word “hacker” sparks the imaginative fear in newbie Internet users, and media exploits the scare tactic word, “hack,” for kneejerk reactions. The Forbes article is a story about the California Covered website hackability: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/01/15/so-you-found-an-obamacare-website-is-hackable-now-what/