Glitches persist for Colorado health insurance exchange



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DENVER — Technical glitches in Colorado's online health insurance exchange have stopped dozens of prospective customers from completing their applications despite assurances the site was more user-friendly this year.

Technical issues have stopped at least 88 customers from enrolling, The Denver Post reported Tuesday (http://dpo.st/1HVGdb4).

Connect for Health Colorado officials added a message on the website last week for thwarted health insurance consumers, stating "we are aware that some customers have technical issues completing their application for financial assistance," and they are "working to address these as quickly as possible."

Among those blocked by the glitch was Colorado Springs resident Thomas Conter. He said he filled out the lengthy online Medicaid/insurance exchange application for his wife and was denied Medicaid coverage for her, as he had expected.

However, when he tried clicking on "Get New Coverage for 2015," he said, he was not allowed to continue with the process. He had made some errors that he never would have uncovered without help from a guide, he said.

"It's an incredibly complicated process to go through by yourself," Conter said. "It's really too difficult to go back through and correct any mistakes you've made." Doing his taxes online is easier, he said.

Exchange spokesman Luke Clarke said Connect for Health had received 88 emails in response to its notice as of Monday afternoon. Other than that, officials say they are unsure of the scope of the problem.

Open enrollment for 2015 began Nov. 15 and ends Feb. 15, but those wanting coverage effective Jan. 1 must complete their applications by Dec. 15.

In the first week of open enrollment, Connect for Health said it had 6,144 enrollments, including about 1,700 new customers along with renewals. Updated numbers will be released Tuesday.

The exchange is asking people with problems to report them using a special email address, help@sc.connectforhealth.com, with a subject line reading, "Requesting Enrollment Help."

The site asks for people's names, phone number or email address, and their Connect for Health Colorado account number, if they have one. It says the exchange will contact everyone with a technical issue to help them.

Would-be enrollees also can call the customer service center at 1-855-PLANS-4-YOU, which is 1-855-752-6749, to talk to a trained representative.


Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com

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