Local
5:12 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Consumers Still Face Problems Accessing Health Insurance Exchange

Those attempting to buy a health plan through Georgia's federally-run insurance exchange continue to encounter problems.

Michael Lappin of Atlanta is in that group.

Navigator Alicia Distin offers a consumer information about the healthcare exchange.  She can only talk about the exchanges for now.  When the state grants her a license, she'll be able to help enroll people into new insurance plans.
Alicia Distin offers a consumer information about the healthcare exchange at a recent City of Atlanta outreach event. Michael Lapin says he's not yet sought a navigator's help, although he might if website issues continue.
Credit Jim Burress / WABE News

“It breaks some of my excitement about it," the mortgage broker says.  

Since the exchanges went live Oct. 1st, Lappin estimates he's spent about three hours on the site trying to shop for a policy. 

“Most of the time it’d kick me out and say it could not create an account," he says of his initial attempts. "And I’d have to start all over again, which was the most frustrating part.”

Lappin says he's since been able to create an account, something he sees as a sign of progress. 

Official figures aren’t available as far as how many people successfully used the HealthCare.gov site to find coverage.

One report pegs it at 36,000; another, just 5,000.

The government says it will release those statistics on a monthly basis, just like it does other usage data. 

In the meantime, Lappin says he’ll hang in there.

“There’s plenty of time.”

Open enrollment continues through March 31st, although consumers should purchase a policy by mid-December for it to take effect Jan. 1, 2014.