Meridian Star

New Today

October 2, 2013

A bumpy first day for new insurance marketplaces

CHICAGO —

CHICAGO (AP) — For millions of Americans trying to log in, the online insurance marketplaces created by the new health care law began with a stalled website, an error message or a menu that didn't work.

But the debut of the new insurance marketplaces might have been a victim of the law's own success. The initial sign-up day appeared to draw heavy interest that suggested pent-up demand for just the kind of coverage now being offered.

Tennessee State University student Sam Rutherford, 31, said he signed up for a policy on Tuesday, some 15 years after a sledding accident that resulted in him losing several organs.

"I've been virtually uninsurable since that time," he said.

In 36 states where the federal government is running the marketplaces, a snag involving security questions on users' accounts cropped up repeatedly, preventing many from completing their enrollment.

Brett Graham, a consultant advising states, called the security questions glitch "a real show-stopper."

"If you can't set up an account ... you can't enroll," said Graham, of Leavitt Partners, a consulting firm run by former Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt, who rolled out the Medicare prescription drug benefit under former President George W. Bush.

In some states, trained health care guides resorted to old-school means of signing people up: paper or telephone.

Katie League, an outreach and enrollment manager at Health Care for the Homeless in Baltimore, used paper applications to register people when the website developed problems. She said she wasn't surprised by the opening delay and took it in stride.

"Today is the start of preseason," League said. "You know, not every quarterback is ready on the first day of preseason."

Officials in President Barack Obama's administration said they are pleased with the strong consumer interest, but on a day of glitches they refused to say how many people actually succeeded in signing up for coverage.

Text Only
New Today
Biz Marquee
New Today
Poll

Do you think it is inhumane to euthanize a dog with a pellet gun?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide