UPDATE: Healthcare marketplaces open but too busy for business
OKLAHOMA CITY – Despite the government shut down, Obamacare rolled out Tuesday but not without a few glitches.
Americans can now begin signing up for new insurance policies that will take effect on January 1.
So far, the web site HealthCare.gov has been overwhelmed with people trying to enroll.
In fact, those we talked with say they have waited for this day, only to discover they will have to keep waiting to find out what the new insurance plans will cost them.
Crystal Reagan, who is shopping for health insurance, said, “At this point, I can’t get insurance because of pre-existing conditions.”
She knows all too well the heartache of not having insurance; she survived cancer just to have her policy canceled.
Since then she has not been able to find health insurance.
Reagan said, “They put it to me that I burned down a house and now I’m trying to insure it because I had lung cancer.”
Crystal was excited Tuesday to finally be able to apply for health insurance, only to find out the site was busy.
She said, “I have not been able to get on today, of course it’s busy.”
Rosalyn Johnson, with Community Health Centers Inc., said, “The web site is moving a little slower than we would like but that was anticipated.”
Community Health Centers is one of the few places helping Oklahomans with the process.
She said, “We can’t actually do the application for them but we can assist them in the process.”
She agrees that issues with the web site HealthCare.gov have kept people from being able to apply.
Call centers across the country have also been flooded with those shopping for insurance.
The president addressed the glitches in a speech on Tuesday.
He said, “We are going to be speeding things up in the next couple hours to handle all this demand that exceeds anything we expected.”
While it is frustrating, Crystal knows the web site will eventually be available.
She will then be able to apply and get coverage which, once in effect, will take a lot of stress off of her family.
She said, “It’s hard to focus on your family when you have health conditions that you are trying to take care of.”
The president said the response is overwhelming.
By 7 a.m., more than 1 million people had visited the HealthCare.gov website.
The website is one of several ways to find out more about the health insurance options.
You can also check rates and enroll by calling 1-800-318-2596.
Those call centers are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You can also find local help centers by going to the website and entering your zip code.