State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Pa. health exchanges off to a slow start

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Oct 13, 2013 7:59 PM
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More than a week after the federal health care exchange opened in Pennsylvania, shoppers are turning to pen and paper to begin their search for insurance plans under the federal health care law.

Organizations around the commonwealth say website glitches caused by high traffic have kept anyone from successfully enrolling in a plan on the Pennsylvania exchange.

Resources for Human Development, which received a federal grant to act as a "navigator" for people using the exchange, has been taking calls from people frustrated with the site, said Kate Kozeniewski.

"Once we've been able to speak to them and let them know that, no, it's just that a huge number of people have been interested and that they didn't think that this many people would be interested so quickly," she said. "Once people understand that they have until Dec. 15 for their insurance to become effective on Jan. 1, I think they have been OK with that."

Since Pennsylvania's health care online exchange is federally run, the state doesn't yet have enrollment data at its fingertips -- including the number of visitors who have been able to access information or the number of applications started.

The federal Department of Health and Human Services expects to report those figures next month.

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Comments: 1

  • Jarvis Green img 2013-10-17 21:34

    I am a web designer and developer. JI would lose my client if this happened. High traffic should have anticipated and a solution should have been prepared. The feds can make excuses all day long, but this should have been rolled out much differently. The fact is that so far it's a flat-out failure. I tried to get on, but it's virtually impossible to get anywhere. I'm currently paying over 600$ a month and have a $5000 deductible for my family, so we pay out of pocket. I'd love a good, cheaper healthcare solution, but I think this whole thing is way to cumbersome. There's just too much red tape with anything government related anymore.

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