Despite troubles, state keeps goal for health exchange
|By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Pearce called it "a hopeful target at this point."
"I'm clearly supportive of the program. I want to make it work," said Del.
Pearce reminded lawmakers that people have until the end of March to buy insurance through the marylandhealthconnection.gov site, which is the vehicle for implementing
"We still have four months of open enrollment," Pearce said.
"We don't have any evidence of people getting in and saying, 'Yeah, I love this,'" Krebs said. "When are we going to know [if] it's not just a website problem, but a what-you-have-to-offer problem?"
Pearce said that because of the website troubles, officials can not know that until the end of March.
Meanwhile, the state has expanded the workforce trying to repair the exchange's technical issues and to resolve complaints from residents unable to sign up for insurance.
The state hired an additional 40 people to join the 125 already working in a call center to help walk people through the process of signing up. A team of 150 work around the clock out of a contractor's Linthicum office to resolve IT issues. The contractor has identified a troubled server it needs to rebuild -- one of more than 60 that are hosting the exchange at an undisclosed location in
Some residents, frustrated by delays, turned to paper applications. For three weeks, Pearce said, it was impossible for anyone to enroll in plans online. Until last week, the website problems made it impossible for the state to send information about new enrollees to insurance companies.
The state has 8,500 paper applications for health care that workers need to wade through by Sunday to meet deadlines to get those people insurance by
As of Tuesday, at least one major glitch still troubled the website. People trying to search for doctors who will accept their new insurance are presented with a screen that says no doctors accept it.
Pearce said she suspects part of the reason
"Ideally, we would have known what the rules were ahead of time," Pearce said. "I think that those states that started earlier may have been slightly disadvantaged."
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