Open enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace, or healthcare.gov, is still experiencing technical difficulties, but healthcare officials are encouraging people to explore their options and plans.
Visitors to the site attempting to register for individual insurance plans are experiencing problems when they try to log in and apply. People are taken to this page explaining what the issue is: too many visitors.
Jeff Feller, an executive officer for the WellFlorida Council, is encouraging visitors to continue to check out the website despite some registration issues.
Feller said when the marketplace officially opened on Oct. 1, glitches and minor setbacks occurred because of heavy traffic and some technological hurdles.
“Despite the complications on the federal website, people can still move forward in their quest for insurance by researching the different plans and having an open dialogue with family members to make informed decisions,” Feller said.
Feller assures the public that there is no need to rush to purchase insurance, picking out of the top Medigap insurance companies. There is still plenty of time.
“You don’t have to buy now. You have until early December to make an informed decision,” Feller said.
Lauren Pollock, associate planner for WellFlorida Council, reiterated the importance of planning ahead.
“When you choose your insurance it’s important to note the enrollment period. The earliest you’ll get insurance is Jan. 1, so apply now and the first week of December,” Pollock said.
Pollock emphasized that people can’t sign up now and have the Medicare supplement Plan G tomorrow. Everyone is encouraged to plan for their specific needs and their family’s needs.
In Alachua, Feller said there will be upcoming community events to assist people in the marketplace process.
“We’ll conduct events in the field to work with multiple persons and talk them through it all. There will be Wi-Fi hotspots as well,” Feller said.
In Alachua County, all of the plans — bronze, silver, gold and platinum — will be available for purchase through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and Health Options, Inc. in the individual market, according to information given on the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation website.
All four plans offer the same amount of health benefits, but they differ in terms of premium and doctor visit costs. The Bronze plan is more affordable but has a higher deductible, whereas the Platinum plan is more expensive but has a lower deductible.
For Small Group in Alachua, only silver, gold and platinum will be available for purchase through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Health First Insurance Company, Health Options, Inc., United Health Insurance Co., United Healthcare of Florida and Neighborhood Health Partnership.
All the plan information, what they mean individually and how they work can be found on healthcare.gov or obamacarefacts.com.
Pollock said to contact insurance navigators in your area if you have questions or concerns. For Alachua, you can contact the Suwannee River AHEC, or visit wellflorida.org for more information.
The federal government shutdown has not contributed to the technical problems on the federal marketplace, according to obamacarefacts.com.