At week’s end, health insurance marketplaces still having delays

    Several area health groups have yet to report any progress in successful online sign-ups for health coverage through the new insurance marketplaces launched Tuesday.

    James Grant oversees Delaware’s role in that state’s marketplace, though the federal government is taking the lead. As of 1 p.m. Friday, he had not received any official reports of successful enrollments — or unofficial ones through social media or first or secondhand anecdotes — in the state.

    “That’s not to say that there is someone out there who might already have, but we have no confirmation of that,” said Grant.

    The marketplaces went live at 8 a.m. Oct. 1, but have been off to a rocky start in many states, with reported computer delays and troubles handling an influx of online visitors. Federal officials say people have been able to enroll in the federal marketplaces but are not releasing specific state breakdowns until later next month.

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    People have until Dec. 15 to sign up for coverage which starts Jan. 1. Open enrollment ends March 31.

    Grant, meanwhile, said he and others are hopeful for a breakthrough soon. In the meantime, he said those assisting with applications have been encouraging people to be patient and try again later. They’ve also been helping people fill out paper applications.

    That’s been the case for Resources for Human Development, an agency taking a lead on enrollment assistance in the Philadelphia area. Laura Line, who is overseeing the project, said in an email that the agency’s navigators have yet to complete an online enrollment application. Instead, they’ve been scheduling appointments for later dates or have been completing paper applications.

    Some reports of success have come from area insurers. Aetna and Independence Blue Cross,  the two insurers participating in the federal insurance marketplace in Philadelphia, both have confirmed they’ve started enrolling people via the federal marketplace, but they’re not releasing specific numbers. 

    Disclosure: Independence Blue Cross supports WHYY.

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