Health Care

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Online enrollment stalls but interest remains

Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 7:10 PM
Last updated Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 1:42 AM
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Two hours after she started trying to enroll online Thursday in the state Health Insurance Marketplace, Jacquelyn Jones was still in front of a computer screen that asked her to “Please wait...”

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Terri Gant, left, helps Jacquelyn Jones sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Terri Gant, left, helps Jacquelyn Jones sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act at the Augusta-Richmond County Public Library.

But she said she was not frustrated, even if others are when trying to use the healthcare.gov Web site to get information on plans and subsidies available under the Affordable Care Act.

“You’ve got to have patience,” said Jones, 38. “Some people don’t have patience.”

Ten days after the Web site went live to allow people to log in, find insurance plans and subsidy information, and then enroll, a number of glitches appear to prevent that from happening. The Web site, which is the vehicle to enroll for people in more than 30 states that refused to set up their own online marketplaces, is making mail look attractive.

Daniel Haynes was among a handful of people who showed up at an enrollment class at Augusta-Richmond County Public Library sponsored by Medical Associates Plus at Belle Terrace. He left with some forms in his hand.

“We’re going to mail the application in,” Haynes said.

Navigator Terri Gant, of Medical Associates, said the process can be done that way by mail but also through e-mail.

“It will just have to go back and forth until it is complete,” she said.

A couple of people in the class got so far as to enter account information and get a confirmation e-mail, only to get an error message that read, “Oops, you didn’t check your email in time,” even when they immediately checked their e-mail. They tried logging in again but the system wouldn’t let them.

Ana Crowe, an outreach worker for Medical Associates, got through to someone on the enrollment hot line.

“She’s going to ask one of her specialists,” Crowe told the class as she waited on the phone. “She said it’s a glitch and it’s one of the things that’s happening now.”

After getting a promise of a callback later, Crowe goes back to try and help the class. On her laptop at home, she said, she has the exact same error message waiting for her. Gant has also seen it before.

“That glitch has been in the system since last week,” she said. “That’s the same one I got stuck on.”

Catherine Youngblood, 63, has insurance but would like to see if there is something more affordable through the exchange. She asked a lot of questions and left with some forms and the promise of an appointment later.

“I’m going to follow up because I’d like to have the information before I make a decision,” Youngblood said.

Gant and Crowe do answer a lot of questions, including that there will be those who don’t earn enough to qualify for subsidies and likely won’t be able to afford the coverage. It is important for them still to go through the process and get a form that exempts them from paying a penalty for not having health insurance, Crowe said.

Some were also under the impression that because of the battle in Congress over defunding the Affordable Care Act that there is no money to continue, Gant assured them that grants to fund her and the other three navigators in Augusta have already been received and enrollment will continue despite the government shutdown.

And many people who are interested in getting information continue to call the Augusta centers, Gant said. Enrollment continues until March 31, 2014.

“We’re working until they say not to,” she said. “We have some issues but we are continuing to move forward.”

Help enrolling

Medical Associates Plus at Belle Terrace will hold an event to provide assistance in enrolling in the state Health Insurance Marketplace from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the Fellowship Hall of Belle Terrace Presbyterian Church, 2454 Golden Camp Road.

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LillyfromtheMills
13887
Points
LillyfromtheMills 10/10/13 - 11:53 pm
3
2
The govt has the lowest caliber

Of programmers - it's no wonder the system doesn't work.

KSL
134138
Points
KSL 10/11/13 - 03:16 am
2
2
And obamacare itself is going

And obamacare itself is going to work oh so smoothly, NOT.

KSL
134138
Points
KSL 10/11/13 - 03:27 am
2
2
Quote

"Don't earn enough to qualify for subsidies" ??????

vegasbaby
177
Points
vegasbaby 10/11/13 - 06:59 am
1
1
Show me the money!

Could you imagine how much actual "healthcare" could have be paid for by all the money spend on this system that is not working...

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 10/11/13 - 07:04 am
1
0
The Future of America. Queing for everything. But there is TV.
Unpublished

The Future of America. Queuing for everything. But there is TV. And Big Brother will always be there to comfort you while the war in East Slavania is going well. You can even have a drop of fruity coloring in your polluted water.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 10/11/13 - 07:06 am
1
0
But a visit to an MCG clinic will get you prepared for guvmit
Unpublished

medical care. Bring a lunch, plenty of diapers and toys. Oprah and CNN will be on the TV 24/7/365.

soapy_725
43757
Points
soapy_725 10/11/13 - 07:08 am
1
0
Comcast is outsourcing the customer service for Obamacare
Unpublished

"And how are you today Meeester American." If you will wait just one minute Meester American."

Tom Corwin
9933
Points
Tom Corwin 10/11/13 - 01:04 pm
1
0
KSL

I have written about this in several stories but the Affordable Care Act actually contains a prohibition against adults who earn less than the Federal Poverty Level from receiving subsidies to purchase policies through the state Health Insurance Marketplaces. This was originally designed to prevent states from dumping their Medicaid patients on the exchanges. When the Supreme Court decision made Medicaid expansion optional, and many states such as Georiga and South Carolina opted not to do it, those folks were left in limbo. However, they are also exempted from having to pay a penalty under the individual mandate. The people on Thursday were being advised to go through the exchange so they could make sure they got that exemption.

raul
5316
Points
raul 10/11/13 - 06:10 pm
0
0
@Lilly. This whole deal was a

@Lilly. This whole deal was a contracted operation to the tune of 600 million plus dollars. Government programmers didn't write the program to my understanding.

Darby
26878
Points
Darby 10/12/13 - 12:47 am
1
0
"Government programmers didn't write the program

to my understanding."

.
Then to "My understanding", that means the project was put up for bids and as is policy, the job is now being done by THE LOWEST BIDDER, right?!

Well, that explains a lot, doesn't it?

raul
5316
Points
raul 10/12/13 - 04:06 am
0
0
Looks like a big piece of the

Looks like a big piece of the contract went to CGI Federal , a Canadian firm. http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/10/11/just-how-much-does-healthcaregov-...

Darby
26878
Points
Darby 10/12/13 - 10:28 am
1
0
"Looks like a big piece of the contract

went to CGI Federal , a Canadian firm."

.
Of course! Because the "progressives" keep telling us what a wonderful and efficient program they have up there in "The Great White North".

Who better to run our program?

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