Federal Health Insurance Exchange Delays Impacting Wisconsin
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
MENASHA-- President Obama says fixing the federal health insurance exchange’s web site is a top priority. The site has been running slowly or not working at all for some people since its launch three weeks ago. The delay is leaving thousands here in Northeast Wisconsin waiting to sign up.
The number of people in Wisconsin who've signed up for the health insurance exchange on the federal web site is still unknown, but the latest estimate was just 50 people. That leaves thousands of people in limbo.
At the Partnership Community Health Center, insurance application counselors are on hand to help people sign up. Shannon Frelich is one of five certified insurance application counselors. She says it’s been difficult to do her job with the federal web site glitches.
"People have been calling in and saying that they would like some help, it's been very steady and we haven't been able to help them," Frelich said.
Gov.Scott Walker says state health leaders have been aggressive in complying with the law. Walker insists the delays are a federal issue.
"I was willing to cut the federal government some slack because anytime somebody rolls out a new web site there's going to be challenges, the fact that it’s been this long and they haven't, it's frustrating,"Gov. Walker said.
President Obama is also frustrated with the delays..
"People just don't want it, they are showing up to buy it, nobody is madder than me about that the fact that the web site isn't working as well as it should, which means it's going to get fixed," he said.
Once the site is fixed, counselors like Frelich will be much busier.
"It's going to be very hectic we already have a long list of people wanting to apply so it’s just going to be one right on top of the other,” Frelich said.
At the Partnership Community Health Center there is a waiting list of more than 70 people. Officials say the center receives hundreds of call per day with questions about the exchange.