Government & Politics
6:39 pm
Sun October 13, 2013

Pennsylvanians Turn to Pen and Paper to Enroll in New Health Care Exchanges

More than a week after the federal health care exchange opened in Pennsylvania, people are turning to pen and paper to begin shopping for insurance plans under the federal health care law.

Organizations around the commonwealth say website glitches caused by high traffic have kept anyone from successfully enrolling in a plan on the Pennsylvania exchange.

Kate Kozeniewski works with Resources for Human Development, which received a federal grant to be a designated “navigator” for people using the exchange.

She says her group has been taking calls from people frustrated with the site and helping them get started.

"Once we’ve been able to speak to them and let them know that, no, it’s just that a huge number of people have been interested and that they didn’t think that this many people would be interested so quickly, that once people understand that they have until Dec. 15 for their insurance to become effective on Jan. 1, I think they have been OK with that."

Since Pennsylvania’s health care online exchange is federally run, the state doesn’t yet have enrollment data at its fingertips – like the number of visitors who have been able to access information or the number of applications begun.

But the federal Department of Health and Human Services expects to report such figures next month.