Hoosier healthcare frustration mounts
Signing up for the Affordable Care Act on day two doesn't appear to be going much better than day one. One Indiana man's quest to sign up is turning out to be a frustrating experience.
A married father of two, Barry Atwell has an important assignment. He wants to sign up his wife for the Affordable Health Care Plan and he has a month to get it done.
"It's a pretty short window when their site isn't working and the switchboard is tied up," Atwell observed.
Eyewitness News caught up with him while he was trying to sign up on his laptop from the Irvington Public Library Wednesday morning.
"You know two days ago, I had a full head of hair," he says sarcastically as he rubs both his hands over his balding head.
He speaks in jest, but it's peppered with frustration. He is on Medicare because of a disability. His children are on Hoosier Healthwise. His wife was on Healthy Indiana, but that expires in January.
"We have a lot of visitors on this site right now. Please stay on this page. We are working to make the experience better," the unidentified voice exclaimed through the speaker on his computer.
"There is a button here for live chat. Let's try that," he said.
So he is working to make sure his wife has healthcare. All have pre-existing conditions of some type so the family cannot afford to be without insurance.
"Chat with someone who can help," he hoped out loud.
It would prove not to be the case.
"Sorry, health insurance marketplace is not available right now. We apologize for the inconvenience or call the customer service center," the computer voice deadpanned.
"Hundreds of millions of dollars they spent supposedly preparing for this over three years and launch day is like this? Launch day plus one is still like this?" he exclaimed.
The computer droned on, oblivious to his mounting frustration.
"Right now our systems are having technical difficulties and it's not letting us fill out any applications or anything. The website is down too," Atwell interjected. "What a shock!"
The computer continued, "It will be out the next three hours."
So on Wednesday, just like on Tuesday, the computer would have the last word.
Atwell told me he tried again this afternoon and was told he should wait and try again tomorrow. Here are words we all dread: He was told a tech team is trying to fix it.