Technical glitches, health care exchange overloaded
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
MENASHA, WI --Despite the government shutdown, the Affordable Care Act kicked in Tuesday. The new online health insurance exchanges should be open for business. But technical glitches are complicating the process.
To help people sign-up, one local healthcare provider is dedicating staff to the job.
Partnership Community Health Center in Menasha, a full service health center serving low income residents, now has five application counselors on staff to help, as the new health insurance marketplace opens.
The Affordable Care Act means people like Sarah Conklin, diagnosed six years ago with multiple sclerosis, will keep their health care.
"I don't have to worry about losing my insurance right now all is good, all my pre exisiting conditions are going to be covered from here on out," said Conklin.
Close to 700 Wisconsinites are expected to sign up using the federally run online marketplace, but not just yet. If you try to sign up at www.healthcare.gov, the site will tell you it is experiencing an overload of visitors and asks you to be patient as they fix the problem.
Expecting a tough transition, Partnership Community Health application counselors are available for one- on -one sessions to help those looking to buy coverage.
"What kind of healthcare are you looking for? Is it the topline plan or is it minimum?" said application counselor, Emily Stacker.
Open enrollment continues through March 2014. Those without insurance after that can be fined up to $95.
President Obama says the web site glitches are temporary and they are adjusting the site to deal with the huge demand.