SWLA AIDS Council experiences delays on healthcare.gov - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

SWLA AIDS Council experiences delays on healthcare.gov

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Open enrollment in the health insurance marketplace kicked off Oct. 1, but since the get-go, the website healthcare.gov has had technical issues.

Director of Client Services for the SWLA AIDS Council, Carol Giles, is also training to be a certified applications counselor for the health exchange website.

"A certified applications counselor is a person who is authorized to walk people through the process of enrolling persons in health insurance plans," explained Giles.

Except, when the healthcare.gov website went live Oct. 1, Giles ran into issues, "We were sort of taken to a holding screen and the waits were quite long."

Turns out, she wasn't the only one. Officials say they're working on the issues.

"Folks are working 24/7 to address and to isolate and fix problems," said David Simas, Deputy Senior White House Communications Advisor.

But some people are successfully enrolling.

"One of my co-workers got on around 2 or 3 in the morning and was able to get through the entire process," said Giles.

Although the website was designed to be simple, Giles said they're receiving questions from clients. The most common is when is the cut-off to enroll?

"In order to start insurance coverage on Jan. 1, people have until Dec. 8 in order to get their applications completed," explained Giles.

But Giles said some of their clients are not eligible to enroll in the marketplace for health insurance, and now they're trying to figure out how to get those people covered.

"With the state's decision not to expand the state Medicaid program we're also going to have anywhere between 125 to 150 clients who will not be eligible for any of the marketplace exchange programs because their income falls below the guidelines set by the federal government," said Giles.

Giles said there are agencies in the area doing enrollments, like the Women's and Children's Hospital in Lake Charles.

For information on the health insurance exchange: http://healthcare.gov/

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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