Health Insurance Exchange Open But Not Working

2 years 6 months 2 days 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
MOBERLY – Mid-Missourians could immerse themselves in history this Memorial Day weekend at a World War II reenactment in Moberly.... More >>
3 hours ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 7:39:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
CENTRALIA — A Memorial Day display in Centralia is one that turns heads as people pass by. The "Avenue... More >>
5 hours ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 5:26:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - VFW Post 2657 celebrated Memorial Day with the sale of “Buddy” Poppies. VFW members and volunteers stood... More >>
7 hours ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 3:08:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The 28th annual Salute to Veterans Celebration and Air Show took flight Saturday at the Columbia Regional Airport.... More >>
9 hours ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 1:08:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers took steps this year to address the growing number of drug overdoses, but health... More >>
9 hours ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 12:54:44 PM CDT in News
BUTLER (AP) — A western Missouri community is grieving after the death of a spunky 12-year-old who was killed in... More >>
11 hours ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 11:41:14 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA – While many convenience stores are working extra hours to keep up with record-breaking Memorial Day travel predictions ,... More >>
11 hours ago May 28, 2016 May 28, 2016 Saturday, May 28 2016 Saturday, May 28, 2016 11:02:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City woman who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old... More >>
23 hours ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 11:10:23 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — A 22-year-old man was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries Friday after he was shot twice.... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 10:52:00 PM CDT in News
CAPE GIRARDEAU (AP) — A man has been arrested and charged in the death of a man whose body was... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 8:15:25 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency Friday as severe storms could bring more flooding throughout... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 7:38:00 PM CDT in News
CASSVILLE (AP) — Authorities in southwestern Missouri say an 8-year-old boy has drowned in a creek. The Missouri State... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 6:34:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — Local troopers remind Missouri residents what's important this Memorial Day weekend while on waters. The Missouri State... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 6:01:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri mega-donor Rex Sinquefield is pouring millions of dollars into political committees before the Aug. 2... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 5:44:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City, Missouri, man is accused of assaulting a female city animal control officer and... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 5:28:51 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA — A pursuit that ended with a wrong way crash on Providence Road on Wednesday morning led to charges... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 4:13:00 PM CDT in Target 8
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A prominent GOP political donor is again supporting Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder as he runs for... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 3:50:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster warned consumers on Friday about Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scam calls. ... More >>
1 day ago May 27, 2016 May 27, 2016 Friday, May 27 2016 Friday, May 27, 2016 3:35:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 72°
11pm 70°
12am 68°
1am 66°
2am 64°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:29p
Saturday Night Live
12:02a
LX.TV: 1st Look
12:32a
Open House NYC
10:30p
Cops Reloaded
11:00p
Cops Reloaded
11:30p
Made in Hollywood

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
King Kong
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld