Glitches plague first day of Healthcare Exchange - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Glitches plague first day of Healthcare Exchange

On its first day in operation, the Federal Healthcare Exchange was overwhelmed with users, many of whom were met with this message when they attempted to log on:

"We have a lot of visitors on our site right now and we're working to make your experience here better. Please wait here until we send you to the login page. Thanks for your patience!"

While frustrating, these technical snafus are not completely unexpected say local health insurance experts.

"It will not include 100 percent of the functionality as originally envisioned by the ACA, but I think the industry and the government will have to work together to try and create a seamless experience for the individual," said Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana's Mike Reitz.

Even President Obama compared the launching of the online exchange, to Apple's launch of its new operating system, saying a few problems at first is normal, but for consumers to be patient.

"Because the open enrollment is six months, Washington is going to have several opportunities to fix any bugs," said Health Agents for America President Ronnell Nolan.

Nolan's advice to anyone looking for an insurance policy on the exchange is take your time, especially if this is the first time buying insurance.

"Because there are going to be so many plans available, we suggest you sit down with a health agent and figure out what's best for you," said Nolan.

The exchange will stay open for six months, but in order for a policy to go into effect by the first of the year, a plan must be purchased by December 15. Any plan purchased after that date, will go into effect two months later.

Officials are also warning about potential healthcare scams.  For reliable and verified information and help, see the websites listed below.

Louisiana Healthcare Education Coalition, www.lhec.net

Affordable Care Act, www.healthcare.gov

Health Agents for America, www.HAFAmerica.org

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