(HealthDay News) — Problems navigating the new federal and state computer-based health insurance exchanges spilled into a third day Thursday.
Consumers in many parts of the United States encountered online bottlenecks while trying to price health plans and enroll in coverage. HealthCare.gov, the federal government website serving people in 36 states, posted a message thanking users for their patience while they waited in a virtual queue to log into the system.
The upside to the glitches, according to health-reform advocates, is that there seems to be strong demand for health insurance among the uninsured. The federal government has yet to release enrollment numbers, so it’s unclear whether the online traffic jams have resulted in many sales of insurance policies.
Kathryn Gaglione, manager of public relations at the National Association of Health Underwriters, told HealthDay that health insurance agents and brokers were dealing with delays getting online just as much as consumers. “We know it’s frustrating for everyone,” she said. While the slowdown may have squelched sales to a certain extent, Gaglione noted that the exchanges have only been open for less than three days. “Overall, it’s more than likely that the same amount of policies will be sold, just not in the first week,” she said.