Access to Healthcare Marketplace: www.healthcare.gov
The new, federal health care marketplaces are off to a bumpy start in Nebraska, with computer problems that have prevented consumers from signing up for insurance right away.
Roger Furrer, executive director of Community Action of Nebraska, said Tuesday that the federal website wasn't allowing users to complete the enrollment process. Staff members in the nonprofit's local offices have been rescheduling appointments, and some health centers have resorted to paper applications.
"It's hurry up and wait," said Furrer.
Thanks to a grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services, Community Action of Nebraska is just one of two agencies in the entire state providing one-on-one assistance to those looking insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
The Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties office in Lincoln is providing what they call "navigators" to help people explore their options.
"They've received training through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to help people walk through the process, to answer questions, and just kind of be there as a support and assistance to folks enrolling," said Furrer.
"We couldn't create an account, we couldn't do anything," said Lincoln resident, Monica Lieske. "I assume there's too many people trying to log in. Not sure, but it didn't work at all."
The six-month enrollment window opened on Tuesday. Furrer says he expects the problems to clear up after a few days, following an initial burst of website traffic to healthcare.gov, where consumers can access the marketplace.
Consumers who enroll through the marketplace won't be insured until Jan. 1 at the earliest.