Health Insurance Exchange Open But Not Working

2 years 5 months 4 weeks ago November 25, 2013 Nov 25, 2013 Monday, November 25 2013 Monday, November 25, 2013 4:09:00 PM CST in News
By: Paige Hornor, KOMU 8, Reporter

COLUMBIA - Missouri's Health Exchange website is preventing buyers from signing up for health insurance. Since the marketplace opened October 1st, it's continually crashed and has not been able to handle traffic.

Missouri's exchange is operated by the federal government so state government cannot provide much help. A spokesperson for the Missouri Hospital Association says it's one reason Missouri's exchange is not working.

"Other states that have chosen to do their own exchanges generally are easier to sign up on," Dave Dillon said. "Missouri is probably more difficult through that federal exchange because we made a decision not to create an exchange and we specifically prohibited the state from getting involved in that process so other states are probably seeing a little less pain when it comes to getting enrolled."

An insurance broker in Columbia says he's telling his clients to wait to sign up.

"Until they get the website up and running, we can't do anything about it. It's like a company that isn't ready to go into business, the sales force can't do anything until they go into business or they are up and running," Collin McCarty said.

McCarty said security risks are another reason he's not enrolling his clients yet. The Associated Press released details of a government memo that contained concerns about a "high security risk" for the health insurance website, at the end of October.

People running into problems with the website can turn to navigators for help. Navigators and insurance counselors are certified individuals hired to provide assistance to those looking and signing up for insurance. One navigator tells KOMU she's received calls from people being unable to sign up online.

But Robin Corderman runs in to many of the same problems people have at home. Error messages such as, "your account is temporarily unavailable" or "the system is unavailable" pop up.

"I think part of the problem with navigators is they are there to build that information for people and for groups and when the site isn't there to complete the transaction it becomes problematic for them because they have to use the same resources as an individual would and walk them through it," Dillon said.

"What we are doing is at this point, we call the 800 number and it takes about 20 or 30 minutes," Corderman said.

Three or four weeks after the phone call, the customer will be notified that their application is finished. Then, you can enroll in a plan. Corderman says Primaris has assisted over 700 Missourians since October.

"The website is working much smoother. Still glitches, but it improves every week and we've had several successful enrollments." Corderman said.

Marilyn Tavenner, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator, apologized for the website's glitches in a U.S. House hearing on October 29th and said it will be fixed.

According to an article by the Associated Press, officials say the website should be able to handle the year-end flood of customers.

Despite the website's glitches, Dillon says it is important to start looking at options now.

"We are still encouraging people to do what they can to investigate what resources are available to them, what policies they might be eligible for," Dillon said.

Some resources are the Kaiser Foundation, Enroll Missouri and Cover Missouri. All of the sites will help estimate your plan and give you information, but they do not get you signed up.

To sign up, a navigator, insurance company, insurance broker or hospital can help fill out an application. You can also print a paper application from healthcare.gov and mail it or call 1-800-318-2596.

"I think it's better to do something to get as far as you can to get that application in the pipeline so in a few weeks you might know your tax credits." Corderman said. "If you can research the plans that you want, you can really move forward once you get the eligibility letter."

According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 751 Missourians signed up for insurance plans through the marketplace in October.

The deadline to enroll for an insurance plan that begins January 1st is December 23rd. However, enrollment is open until March 31st. After then, you will face fines from the Internal Revenue Service.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol said a vehicle speeding through Columbia led to a "nearly head-on" collision on... More >>
2 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 11:38:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri - Columbia is under fire by the group Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, or SAEN,... More >>
3 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 10:43:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the shooting death of an 8-month-old boy in St. Louis (all times... More >>
4 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 9:16:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Most recently graduated high school seniors have a whole summer off before they must prepare for their... More >>
6 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 7:40:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - One man suspected of killing a woman in downtown St. Louis carjacking before throwing her 9-month-old... More >>
6 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 7:18:01 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) - Two Kansas City, Missouri, men are accused in federal court of carrying out a killing as... More >>
7 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 6:16:08 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – Workers striped the new Garth Avenue Bridge Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Danny Roeger is the construction... More >>
11 hours ago May 25, 2016 May 25, 2016 Wednesday, May 25 2016 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 2:44:00 AM CDT in News
PULASKI - Only one 911 line is operational at the Pulaski County Call Center after a lightning strike damaged the... More >>
15 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 10:12:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Food Bank of Central and Northeast Missouri said it has seen an increase in people needing food... More >>
16 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 9:10:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - MU School of Medicine research revealed that factors other than mental illness could lead to criminal acts of... More >>
17 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 8:11:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City Fire Department investigation attributes the deaths of two firefighters at least partly on... More >>
18 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 7:37:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Charges were recommended against a driver in relation to a police chase in Jefferson City Tuesday. ... More >>
18 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 6:57:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Economic Development (MDED) named Boone County the fastest-growing county in the state of Missouri... More >>
19 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 5:56:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The next time drivers head down Grindstone Parkway in Columbia, they may notice a sign telling them to... More >>
20 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 5:39:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway said a state board created to advocate for small businesses against government... More >>
20 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 5:38:00 PM CDT in News
REPUBLIC (AP) — A southwestern Missouri prosecutor said a police officer acted in self-defense when he shot and killed an... More >>
21 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 4:02:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Latest on the St. Louis shooting death of an 8-month-old boy and the search for... More >>
22 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 3:50:00 PM CDT in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A former Missouri man serving a 20-year sentence for killing his estranged wife and burying her... More >>
22 hours ago May 24, 2016 May 24, 2016 Tuesday, May 24 2016 Tuesday, May 24, 2016 3:46:42 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 78°
2pm 80°
3pm 81°
4pm 82°
5pm 81°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

1:00p
Days of Our Lives
2:00p
The Meredith Vieira Show
3:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
1:00p
Maury
2:00p
Rules of Engagement
2:30p
Rules of Engagement

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Heartbeat
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
Supernatural
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld