Health care website deadline is today
From Florida to Alaska, the "navigators" designated to sign people up for insurance under the U.S. health-care overhaul say that while the online federal insurance exchange has improved in many ways since its Oct. 1 debut, outages and errors continue to prevent many from using it to buy their coverage.
Enroll Alaska has signed up 52 people in health plans out of about 2,200 who have requested help since the site opened. Boling said she is mostly successful on the site with simple cases, like a single adult making a set income. For uncommon financial situations, "the website is not able to function at the capacity yet that capture the complications of people's lives," she said.
President Barack Obama said the health-care law will "be a legacy I am extraordinarily proud of," during an interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters that aired Friday on "20/20."
"Obviously my most recent concern has been that my website's not working," Obama said, according to a summary of the interview by ABC News. "We're evaluating why it is exactly that I didn't know soon enough that (it) wasn't going to work the way it needed to."
"This week has become the breaking point," Magnuson said by telephone. "I have several clients this week that have said exactly that: 'I give up. I don't care what the federal subsidy is. Enroll me in a plan. I'll pay the premium.'"
While accessing the site may be easier as the result of recent software fixes, using it to figure out the actual cost of a plan can be problematic, said John Foley, supervising attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, a navigator group in Florida.
The Legal Aid Society has only managed to sign up 10 to 15 people out of "hundreds" who have come to the organization for help, according to Foley. Even those successes are questionable, he said, because the group hasn't yet heard that anyone has received notices from their insurers confirming enrollment.
Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director for the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, a navigator group, is telling people to log on in the evening after peak hours, recommending paper applications when people get frustrated and the call center, if necessary.
Healthcare.gov "is improving, literally week-over-week and day-over-day," Hamler-Fugitt said. "October was homework month, November is window-shopping month. So we certainly hope December becomes 'let's buy it' month."
"The message we're giving people is be patient, that yeah, whenever you have something big, it takes awhile," said Sue Berkowitz, director of the South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center. "But there's still time, and you can make this happen."
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