Health Exchange Problems Continue in Mississippi

By: Courtney Ann Jackson Email
By: Courtney Ann Jackson Email

Jackson, Miss. The White House announced Wednesday that it plans to
delay the deadline requiring every American to buy health insurance by as much as six weeks.

The hype was high but the numbers are low for those using the insurance marketplace.

Here in Mississippi, the number of successful enrollments stands at just 35 people. If you take a closer look, it could be higher. Either way there are some stumbling blocks in the sign-ups.

Hundreds of Mississippians show up for information about the Affordable Care Act when events are held. Yet just a fraction of those have successfully signed up in the insurance exchange.

"We do know that there are difficulties within the website," said Traci Grubb of Health Help Mississippi. "We've been seeing individuals have issues with the website and getting enrolled.”

Thirty-five people is the number Magnolia Health reported to the insurance commissioner Monday.

Humana is the other provider in the exchange. It says it is in a quiet period during enrollment and won't release numbers. There are facilitators around the state that can help people wondering if they qualify.

“Anything that's new is going to be confusing so there is that newness that is the confusing part to it," said Grubb. "But I think as more and more Mississippians are able to use the website successfully, that confusion is going to drop and we're going to see a lot more Mississippians enrolled.”

But are they using the resources available?

Organizers say the turnout for informational sessions about Obamacare has been hit or miss at libraries, for instance. This reporter showed up at one Wednesday to see if anyone would come to learn more about the exchange. But nobody came through the door.

If you try to log onto the website on your own, be ready to get a 'please wait' message. This reporter I tried it Wednesday. The process of just creating a profile can take nearly 30 minutes. Make sure you have all your personal information and documents ready. It is a time- consuming process.

Humana says it could have numbers available after Nov. 1.


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