Computer issues delay healthcare sign up until November

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More delays are in store for Hoosiers wishing to sign up for the Affordable Health Care Plan.

What started out as a simple IT problem with computer overload could delay enrollment for another month.

The federal government shutdown has done something no one could believe was possible only days ago. It has overshadowed the rollout of the Affordable Health Care plan.

"It's going to be freezing up again," said Susan Heath.

One web page has become all too familiar to Hoosiers attempting to sign up for the Affordable Health Care Plan. It reads, "We have a lot of visitors on the site right now." The explanation from Washington is that the website is overwhelmed by five times more users than expected.

So now, navigators from around the state of Indiana have something else in common.

"We are putting things on hold until November and then the state and federal system for Indiana will not be in sync until November 18," Heath said.

That is when Indiana's Medicaid information will sync with the Marketplace website. So that is when navigators like those at the Jane Pauley Community Health Center will finally be able to perform the task they were trained for.

"We have spots for appointments to be made, 'cause we are not going to take walk-ins, because we could be overloaded. So we have appointment slots where people can come in to go through the application process, but right now. Our schedules are on hold until November," Heath said.

Those interested in signing up can fill out a paper application. The five-step process, once completed, will be mailed to Kentucky. The fear is applicants will fill out an electronic application as well, once that system is up and running, thereby gumming up the system with dual applications.

"We haven't even been able to go through the whole process yet, so it's a challenge to us to be able to answer some of the questions until we can go through the whole application process," Heath said.

That process could take at least a month.

You have to be signed up by December 15 in order to be covered on January 1. After December 15, you will not be eligible until February 1.

FSSA held an afternoon meeting with navigators to outline the problem. Now, you begin to wonder how many Hoosiers will just pay the $95 fine to opt out in the first year until all the kinks are worked out of the system.