Friday, April 25, 2014

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Online health insurance marketplace improves

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TWC News: Online health insurance marketplace improves
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Monday’s attempt wasn’t Pablo Ruiz’s first try at enrolling for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

"I've been here three times, came to look for a plan, a good plan," he said.

In Ruiz’s case, the fourth time seemed to be the charm. Now enrolled, Ruiz is happy with the premium for his new plan.

"The difference in pay is a lot because right now I'm going to pay $119 and I was paying $400," he said.

Trained volunteers at Insure Central Texas say they're already seeing improvement with people getting through the online enrollment process and they hope those numbers just continue to increase.

"It's a big difference from when we opened Oct. 1, when we weren't able to get on the website at all," Elizabeth Colvin with Insure Central Texas said.

Colvin says the group has seen about 2,000 people come through its doors since the website's rollout, but they were only able to enroll about 10 people the first month and a few more than that the second.

She's hopeful this third month looks a lot different.

"I'm very encouraged,” Colvin said. “People will be a lot less frustrated with the application process. I think the wait times will go down so we'll be able to serve more people, get them through the process."

And with only three weeks to go to get people enrolled in order to ensure they’re covered on the first of the year, groups like Enroll America will be out in full force with its Get Covered campaign to make sure people know their options.

"We're using this opportunity over these two weeks to educate, mobilize our volunteers, just to get the word out there that this is the prime opportunity," Kenneth Flippin with Enroll America said.

It’s an opportunity for coverage Ruiz says he's glad finally got processed with few glitches.

"I'm very happy, this will be a good Christmas for me,” he said. “Very happy."

The White House says the site received 375,000 visitors by noon today.

Consumers still experiencing delays will be placed in a queue and advised when to return for speedier service.

But, even with the repairs in place, the site still won't be able to do everything it was intended to do. Companion sites for small businesses and Spanish speakers have been delayed, and there are still questions about whether the site can deliver the right information to insurers. ClientIP:,, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP