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State Trying to Solve Health Exchange Problems

6:31 PM, Oct 3, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - When the new healthcare exchanges opened across the nation, this is the message people in New York State got when they tried to call in:

Due to overwhelming interest in the New York State of Health the marketplace is currently experiencing login issues, we are working to address the problem. If you are having a login issue, we encourage you to visit the website at a later time.

The state Department of Health says its gotten 30 million web hits to its website. And that this was "far more than was anticipated, causing login problems for users," said Donna Frescatore, the executive director of New York State of Health.

The state says its main call center in Albany is fielding thousands of calls, while technicians are trying to fix the login issues.

"I don't think it's surprising that people would be having traffic volume issues, trying to get on the website, it's a brand new program, it's certainly one that we've all been talking about," said Jennifer Nichols of Kaleida Health.

In Western New York, Kaleida Health, provides at all their locations what are called "navigators," which are part of the new exchange system.

The navigators are supposed to help people interested in a new health plan, navigate the marketplace and find what they're looking for.

"We've been having folks asking us just next steps and how to navigate and what's available to them, and what they need to bring into an appointment, how they might find out what they're benefit level would be," said Nichols.

Another navigator in the region is Neighborhood Legal Services, which has offices in Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Batavia.

Leaders here say they were given incorrect password information from the state to get into their systems and set up new health plans.

Right now the office can't make appointments for people in need of help. And instead, are putting people on waiting lists.

The department of health says it's working on this problem too. One of the issues Tuesday for people online was not being able to see all the plans available to compare costs.

This problem seems like it's been resolved.

But, we still haven't received an exact or estimated time frame of when the state exchange website will be running smoothly.

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