April 19, 2014

Exchange glitches ‘good news’ for some

Despite some technical difficulties on the first day, advocates of the Affordable Care Act believe health exchanges will be working as planned soon.

Many people shopping for coverage had problems Tuesday, after the federal website for the exchange repeatedly went down. There were also reports of long waits on hotline numbers and at help centers. To some extent, Robert Kraig with Citizen Action of Wisconsin says it’s actually “good news that so many people were interested that it crashed the site.”

Kraig says those looking for coverage should be patient, and keep in mind that they have until December 15th to enroll in plans for next year.

While some opponents of the exchanges and the ACA have argued the website problems show the start date of implementation should have been delayed, Kraig says there’s no reason to believe it’s a sign the system is flawed. He says the technology clearly already exists for people to shop for a wide variety of other products online, such as airline tickets and even auto insurance, and it should not take officials very long to sort out glitches with the system.

AUDIO: Robert Kraig (:21)

If the bugs can’t be fixed quickly though, Kraig says federal officials should consider delaying the open enrollment deadline to give people more time to sign up for coverage.