DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

Health

December 19, 2013

More residents sign up under insurance exchange

(Continued)

Lane had looked forward to the insurance exchange because purchasing insurance on her own was too costly at $1,800 or more a month.

“It’s very discouraging,” she said. “This website has been a nightmare for us.”

But it’s not just those error codes or that Social Security numbers have been entered and vanished.

“I feel like everybody we got on the phone, not one, knows exactly what they should be doing,” Lane said.

That includes the agent who was eating and burped in her ear.

“I told him this is a serious matter, I’m trying to get insurance for my family, and you’re not taking it very seriously,” Lane said.

Day’s experience was vastly different.

“If you have a problem, you can call the hotline,” she said. “Everyone I talked to was over-the-top helpful.”

But Day admits it was sometimes challenging.

“Sometimes it takes a little bit longer,” she said. “You have to be persistent. It pays off.”

Karen Kelly, a community organizer with New Hampshire Citizens Alliance, which has worked on education and advocacy efforts for enrollments, said the system does appear to be improving.

She attended the state advisory board meeting yesterday.

“It was really very positive,” Kelly said.

Stories like Day’s are what Kelly said she is hearing more and more every day.

Glitches are fewer.

“It is not so difficult to get through the website,” Kelly said.

The deadline for enrollments has just been extended to Dec. 23.

She is encouraging people to get help if they need it. They can call 1-800-318-2596 or visit localhelp.healthcare.gov.

“Probably their best bet is to sit down with somebody,” Kelly said.

Lane might have signed up for classes at Derry Public Library.

“I didn’t bother,” she said. “The problems aren’t something a class can help me with.”

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