Obamacare website glitches still prevent many from enrolling

Obamacare website glitches still prevent many East Tennesseans from enrolling

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"'I'm having to be up until midnight or 1:00 in the morning, trying to fill this out this application. I've only gotten so far, only about getting halfway through," said David Harrison. "'I'm having to be up until midnight or 1:00 in the morning, trying to fill this out this application. I've only gotten so far, only about getting halfway through," said David Harrison.
"We've heard it's taken them all day on the website in order to actually go through complete that and get results. Many people don't have the time to waste their entire day doing that," said Erin Hill. "We've heard it's taken them all day on the website in order to actually go through complete that and get results. Many people don't have the time to waste their entire day doing that," said Erin Hill.
Knoxville Area Project Access is now directing people to fill out paper applications if they're not willing to wait for the website to work. Knoxville Area Project Access is now directing people to fill out paper applications if they're not willing to wait for the website to work.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander wants weekly reports on the health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.  

Alexander is introducing a bill making that requirement as a response to the problems encountered rolling out those online marketplaces.

President Obama addressed the problems Monday, saying experts are working non-stop to fix the health exchange website.  

Millions have logged on in the three weeks since it launched, encountering errors and delays.

Some of the local website navigators say there's been some progress despite the glitches, but it's not enough for many to enroll in Obamacare.

It's now been three weeks since online enrollment began for the Affordable Care Act. Those three weeks have been long for David Harrison, 22, of Sevierville.  

Harrison says he's tried to enroll every day, but hasn't had any luck. 

"'I'm having to be up until midnight or 1:00 in the morning, trying to fill this out this application. I've only gotten so far, only about getting halfway through," said Harrison.

Erin Hill with Knoxville Area Project Access, the healthcare non-profit appointed as navigators in the new marketplace for East Tennesseans, says the organization has helped less than 50 people successfully sign up.  

"We've heard it's taken them all day on the website in order to actually go through complete that and get results. Many people don't have the time to waste their entire day doing that," said Hill.  

KAPA is now directing people to fill out paper applications if they're not willing to wait for the website to work.

President Obama has recommended people call the customer service line for help, but KAPA says they've heard complaints the number is overwhelmed.  

Harrison has even tried it himself.

"Customer support, calling their number, doing their live chat with them, but they couldn't explain," said Harrison.  

Another frustrating thing for people like Harrison is that some of the plans he's eligible for can cost close to $200 a month.  

"It's still a major concern," said Harrison.  

"I've been hearing a mixture of people who are excited and feel like the premiums are affordable, and people who don't want to deal with it and don't think it's affordable with their income. And so they are just going to take the penalty," said Hill.

If people want to use a paper application to enroll, you would mail the same information needed to apply online.  

The application process is estimated to take between 2 to 3 weeks.

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