Maryland Health Exchange Website Improved After Initial Delays - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Maryland Health Exchange Website Improved After Initial Delays

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Maryland's online marketplace for health insurance has been improved after technicians found the cause of a bottleneck that prevented users from creating online accounts.

Becca Pearce, the executive director of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, said that within a few hours after improvements were made to the website, Maryland Health Connection, more than 1,000 users created new accounts.

"Today, users have continued to create accounts, determine eligibility, and compare and choose plans," Pearce said in a written statement. "We are closely monitoring the user experience, and are working to improve the efficiency and performance of the system."

Users had delays as soon as the website opened Tuesday morning. Even on Thursday, the website still warned users of wait-times.

State health officials say there will be plenty of time for people to enroll in health care plans through the exchange because the plans do not take effect until January.

"We will address issues as they arise, and will continually improve the function of the website so that Marylanders can access quality, affordable health coverage," Pearce said.     

The Exchange says certain website functions will be unavailable from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily through the month of October so technicians can perform routine maintenance.

Maryland is running its own health insurance exchange. Other states also running their own exchanges have experienced problems with overloaded websites. The federal government has had similar problems for the exchanges it created for the states that did not create one of their own.      

Maryland officials have estimated that 150,000 people will enroll in qualified health plans during the first year. They expect another 100,000 uninsured residents to get insured through expanding Medicaid.

Maryland currently has an estimated 800,000 uninsured residents, which is about 14 percent of the state's 5.8 million residents. The state estimates about half of it's uninsured residents will have insurance by 2020.

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