Baltimore man says he'll miss healthcare deadline because of website glitches

BALTIMORE - "This is where we get stuck," John Banks said as he scrolled through the Maryland Health Connection website.

For Banks, "stuck" is an understatement. He says he's logged in and tried to sign up for healthcare since it started on Oct. 1, but he hasn't progressed much further than the website's homepage.

"Everyday I'm calling back and waiting three hours on the phone. Call back-- wait two hours on the phone, call back-- wait three more hours on the phone to have them tell me, 'Oh, well we'll put in a ticket,' 'Oh, well the ticket has been escalated but we don't have any response yet," Banks said.

A response, he says, is all he really needs. The website won't let him look deeper into the healthcare options for his family, who haven't been covered for three years.

"From the way it looks right now, unless some miracle takes place, we will not have healthcare the first of January, and I'm just heartsick about it," he said.

With the Friday deadline fast approaching, he's called all week. He says when he asked to speak to a senior manager on Thursday, they told him they were all on holiday.

"I know that you don't have your leadership on vacation when the ship is sinking. You need everybody on deck. And I don't understand why everybody's not on deck today. We're angry," Banks said.

With nearly three months devoted to trying to get coverage, Banks says he feels let down and that he'll most likely miss the Friday deadline.

"Those of us who are like my family and I, we're desperately in need of health care and we have nowhere to turn. We have no help."

ABC2 News reached out to the Maryland Health Connection for comment. They did not return our calls or e-mail Thursday. If you miss Friday's deadline, open enrollment continues through March 31. Coverage dates for the later open enrollment options start Feb. 1.

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