Broker Offers Advice For Oklahomans Struggling With Insurance Marketplace

Wednesday, October 23rd 2013, 5:13 pm
By: Craig Day

The botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act is leaving many people confused and frustrated.

The number of people registered for insurance through various exchanges is lagging far behind projections, because the federal website is hard to navigate plagued with glitches.

We talked to a Tulsa woman having a hard time enrolling, and an insurance expert with some good advice.

Three weeks and counting, Jennifer Yeager thought by now she would have insurance coverage picked out through the Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplace.

But so far, the high-tech process is stuck in the cyber mud.

"I got to the point where they wanted you to put all your information in, your tax information, your home, and it just stopped," Yeager said.

She's one of millions of people nationwide, trying to sign up since October 1, on the health insurance exchange website

10/23/2013 CBS News Related Story: Pricing Feature Can Be Off The Mark

But the majority of people are having trouble.

Yeager said she just wants to know how much insurance will cost.

"So I know exactly what to budget for, what to plan on, but we've kind of hit a wall with it," she said.

While President Obama promises some of the best IT talent in the country are fixing the problem, folks like Yeager are left with uncertainty.

"Fortunately, I have a good insurance broker that's helping me along with it and giving me the right information," Yeager said.

That broker is insurance agent Bob Derby.

"There's confusion right now, yes, and they're just wanting to get some answers," he said.

Derby said the trouble in registering is happening to people who qualify for a subsidy to offset some of the cost of coverage.

"If they're not going to get a subsidy, they can sign up for the insurance, we can help them sign up for the insurance in about five minutes," Derby said.

If they get a subsidy, they're sent to the government website, which is where the process gets bogged down.

"I think a lot of people are just sitting back and saying, 'What do I do?' It's almost like they're paralyzed about it," Derby said.

His advice is to get an insurance agent to help clear up confusion and answer questions, which is free.

"I know things don't happen overnight, but I guess it's a little bit of a waiting game," Yeager said.

While it's free to get an insurance agent to help you, the government will pay commissions to insurance agents.

People need to sign up by December 15, 2013, for coverage to begin on January 1, 2014.