Long waits and technical glitches are greeting anyone who’s trying to sign up for health care coverage online.
“It says ‘The system is down at the moment. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Please try again later,’” said Stephania Priester, staring at her screen.
She’s the enrollment coordinator for New Horizon Family Health Services, which is assisting people with their applications for the health insurance marketplace.
She and the other navigators planned to help everyone apply through HealthCare.gov.
“Online, you would apply a lot faster,” said Priester.
But because of glitches on the website, they haven’t been able to enroll a single person online.
“We just basically converted to the paper applications,” said Priester.
It’s an option you can take right now, but there are some drawbacks.
Online, you’d be able to see the different rate plans available to you.
“Whereas with the paper applications, it could be weeks prior to them actually getting their actual eligibility determination,” said Priester.
Only then will you find out if you’re eligible to shop through the marketplace.
There’s also a number you can call to reach the national help center: 1-800-318-2596.
There are a couple things you’ll need to have with you when you apply. Make sure you have your Social Security Number and you employer and income information from pay stubs or your W-2 forms.
You have until Dec. 15 to sign up to get coverage starting Jan. 1. If you’re not already covered, you have until March 31 to sign up. That’s when open enrollment ends.
To print out the paper application yourself, click here and scroll down to “Marketplace Consumer Application.”
To find a list of local navigators who can help you through the enrollment process in person, click here.