ACCOMACK COUNTY, Va. - The federal health care exchange has been open in 36 states, including Virginia, since October 1st but technical glitches with the exchange's website have delayed many people from enrolling online.
By design, the federal health care marketplace was supposed to make it easy to sign up for new health insurance. But according to Lauren Smith, a resident of Accomack County, that has certainly not been the case.
"I have not been able to even create my account and I have tried everyday for the past 3 weeks," Smith said.
Smith is one of 844,000 Virginians without health insurance and eligible to enroll under the Affordable Care Act. Smith said that it is not cost effective for her small employer to provide health benefits which is why she is looking into the federal marketplace. But since the beginning of the month, Smith and thousands of others across the country have run into road blocks.
"For the first, I want to say 2 weeks that the website was available, you couldn't get any further than maybe the second page and it kept refreshing. It's very frustrating. If you call the 1-800 number, you get told you need to wait for 20 minutes. It's just not been very easy," Smith said.
Enrollment coordinators for the Eastern Shore Rural Health System said they have encountered many of the same problems with healthcare.gov but are confident things will get better. Those officials also mentioned they are seeing an increase in the number of people making appointments to come in and get assistance with the registration and enrollment. As for Smith, she said that she will try and remain positive.
"I am going to do what I have to do. If the government is making it this easy for me, then I feel like I have to do my part and just be patient and keep trying."
Despite the delays, there is still plenty of time to sign up for health insurance as open enrollment closes on March, 31st.
Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:00 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:00:51 GMT
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