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Insurance website snags delay Alaska group's work

Posted: October 29, 2013 - 1:38pm

JUNEAU — A broker established to help sign Alaskans up for health insurance under the federal health care law is suspending enrollments until problems with the online marketplace are fixed.
Enroll Alaska's chief operating officer, Tyann Boling, said Monday that the subsidy calculations for Alaskans are not correct, and the concerns have been sent to the regional U.S. Health and Human Services director. Boling did not know when the issue would be resolved.
"But as a company that provides a service to Alaskans, I'm not going to have individuals enrolling until I'm confident that the glitches in the system with that calculator and other errors that the system is encountering are resolved," she said. "I don't want Alaskans enrolling and getting information that's incorrect on their subsidy."
The broker will reach out to the three individuals it has helped enroll through the site so far to make sure they have the right subsidy information, she said.
Enroll Alaska also is waiting for the website problems to be fixed before fully deploying agents to communities around the state, Boling said.
Enroll Alaska, according to its Facebook page, plans to continue talking with individuals by phone and enrolling those outside the federal marketplace who do not qualify for a subsidy to help cover insurance plan costs.
The broker continues to get a lot of calls and traffic on its website, she said.
Boling said she would like to see the open enrollment period for individuals to sign up for insurance extended because of problems with the website. Enroll Alaska receives commissions from insurance companies offering plans on the Alaska marketplace.
The current open enrollment period began Oct. 1 and runs through March. Previously, people would have faced a penalty if they had postponed buying coverage beyond mid-February, but the White House announced Monday that individuals who sign up by March 31 — the end of the open enrollment period — won't face a penalty.

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