On Monday President Obama said he's disappointed by the failure of the “Obamacare” web site, and promised improvements.
Here in Maryland we've seen many of the same issues.
Shelly Bell of Northwest Baltimore works at a day care, which doesn't offer health insurance. She is 27 years old and has not had insurance since she left her parents’ plan five years ago.
She can't wait to purchase health insurance through maryland health exchange.
“Yes yes I think the co-pay will be much less,” she said.
But waiting is exactly what she's been doing.
The state's web site has been plagued with problems since it was unveiled three weeks ago.
Through the end of last week, the site had 250,000 unique visitors, 35,000 households have been able to create accounts and just 2400 of them have been able to sign up for a health insurance plan.
“We know that while it's getting better there's still a number of issues that we really have to deal with and it's really all hands on deck to continue improving the web site,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the head of the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Dr. Sharfstein said that before Obamacare, purchasing insurance on your own could take even longer.
“You had to provide your medical records, every doctor you'd visited in the last five years, all your medicines, it would take four to eight weeks and you wait to hear back and you could be denied,” he said.
Shelly Bell has seen all the news about the delays and problems. It's enough to keep her away from MarylandHealthConnection.gov, for now.
“Not yet I'm just waiting for everything to clear,” she said. “So I know that when I go on everything will be approved and I can go right ahead with it."
You have until December 15th to enroll in coverage if you want it to be in place by January 1st.
Dr. Sharfstein said the web site will be off-line from 11:00 pm through 5:00 am most nights, while improvements are made.
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