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More than 2,300 Alaskans sign up for health insurance

Posted: April 1, 2014 - 12:01am

ANCHORAGE — Heavy Web traffic and software glitches prevented some Alaskans from obtaining health insurance from the online federal marketplace Monday, the last day to sign up for coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Enroll Alaska, a broker created to help enroll individuals in private health insurance, had signed up more than 2,300 Alaskans as of Monday, said Tyann Boling, the chief operating officer. That’s well short of the goal of signing up 8,000 Alaskans by the midnight deadline. People who don’t enroll in time may face a penalty from the Internal Revenue Service.

“It has been an incredible struggle to get the information and education out to individuals across the state,” Boling said.

Alaska decided not to create its own marketplace and instead allowed the federal government to run it. Boling said that was the correct choice, given the small population of Alaska, but the federal government didn’t help communicate the message of the Affordable Care Act and its impact.

“There was no campaign from the federal government,” Boling said. “You didn’t see any commercials from Obama saying, ‘Go out and get enrolled.’ There was no money spent in our state from the federal government on education,” she said.

That left Enroll Alaska and two other organizations, the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and United Way, to educate Alaskans.

Boling expects the number of enrollees to increase, since those who encountered technical problems will have two additional weeks to enroll.

The broker isn’t the only way for Alaskans to sign up for insurance under the law.

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James Coleman
James Coleman 04/01/14 - 07:08 am
Didn't get word out?

Obamacare has been the hot topic since it's ill fated rollout in October. Because Obama didn't do a dog and pony show isn't the reason people didn't enroll. They couldn't get on the website. How many coordinators did Alaska get, 3? Alaska was smart not to have a state exchange. Look at Oregon, millions spent and not 1 enrolled, zero. We saved a lot of money. I feel sorry for the people who can't enroll and now have the IRS to deal with.

Steven Rosales
Steven Rosales 04/01/14 - 08:48 am

we supposed to be proud of those numbers? What a Joke!

Tom Leston
Tom Leston 04/01/14 - 09:56 am
There was no money spent in

" There was no money spent in our state from the federal government on education,” she said"

Too bad our Governor sat on his rear end.

Steven Rosales
Steven Rosales 04/01/14 - 01:11 pm

maybe you are smarter than me. Explain why Alaska would want to be given a little help by the Feds for like two years then carry the whole burden ourselves? Please be specific!

Steven Rosales
Steven Rosales 04/01/14 - 08:00 pm

still waiting for a detailed explanation why we should have jumped on the bandwagon like other states? Other states which by the way are seriously wishing they didnt !

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