HealthCare.Gov Woes Frustrate Last-Minute Shoppers And Helpers

People wait in hallways for help enrolling in insurance at a city service center in southwest Houston on Monday.

hide captionPeople wait in hallways for help enrolling in insurance at a city service center in southwest Houston on Monday.


Carrie Feibel

Last-minute health insurance shoppers turned up in record numbers Monday, both online and in person at clinics, county health departments and libraries. They were there to sign up for Obamacare on the last official day of open enrollment.

Public radio reporters checked out the scene in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Houston — three of the 36 states that are using HealthCare.gov — as well as in Minnesota, which has one of the most troubled state-run marketplaces.

Congested In Cleveland

A steady stream of people filed through the doors of the Neighborhood Family Practice free clinic, but Leah Pallant, an outreach and enrollment coordinator at the clinic, expected many of them to leave without actually selecting a plan before the midnight deadline.

“The website is already in and out,” Pallant said. “The number of people on the website really made it difficult to keep working because it basically just shuts you out entirely when they have too many visitors.”

Employees crafted an inspirational billboard at the Neighborhood Family Practice clinic in Cleveland.

hide captionEmployees crafted an inspirational billboard at the Neighborhood Family Practice clinic in Cleveland.


Sarah Jane Tribble/Sarah Jane Tribble, Ideastream

Federal officials said more than 1.2 million people from around the country

Article source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/04/01/297668205/healthcare-gov-woes-frustrate-last-minute-shoppers-and-helpers?ft=1&f=131849999

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