Californians Trying To Call Obamacare Get A Sex Hotline, Proving That Signing Up For Healthcare Doesn't Have To Be Dull
This is not, repeat not, a late April Fool's Day joke. California's hearing-impaired got an earful when the state's Obamacare exchange directed them to a smokin'-hot hotline instead of a Covered California representative. That's right: Deaf Californians were accidentally directed to a sex hotline when they were trying to sign up for healthcare. Whoops. (Or whoopie, depending on who you are, we guess. Mostly whoops.)
The gaffe looks like a simple mistake. The phone number for the hearing-impaired is 1-888-889-4500, but on a page where users could calculate the potential cost of their coverage, the number was listed as 1-888-899-4500. Readers, unless you want next month's phone bill to come with a charge for talking to "Hot Ladies," don't dial that last number.
CBS News Sacramento talked to Jeff Brown, who gave the number a call thinking he was signing up for insurance. ("Good for me," Brown was probably thinking. "I procrastinated on this Obamacare thing, but I am definitely going to sign up for insurance today. ") Then he heard a voice welcoming him to "America's hottest talk line." Brown dialed it twice to double-check:
I’ll try this number again just in case I dialed it wrong—same thing. I guess it’s an honest mistake, but websites aren’t that hard to keep up right.
Awkwardly, Covered California denied that it had ever put up the wrong number online. But CBS Sacramento grabbed a screenshot of the one-way ticket to phone sex, right there on the exchange website.
The exchange later said it was "reviewing" the incorrect number and "working to correct it." We don't mean to lay it on, guys, but just change that first '9' to an '8' in the phone number, and you should be all done fixing the whole phone-sex-hotline problem.
It hasn't been all bad news for Covered California, though. With a week to go, the exchange announced it had signed up 1.1 million Californians. The administration now says roughly 7 million people signed up for Obamacare during the enrollment period.