NEWPORT NEWS-In the first week of the opening of the healthcare marketplace, millions of Americans have flooded into the marketplace.
It's overwhelmed the government's main Website for information and signing up. So much so that Clara Denise Bryant, a certified application counselor with Southeastern Virginia Health System, says the farthest along she's gotten is getting people to create a log-in.
Since October 1, she's had more than a dozen appointments to help people interested in enrolling. While she knows some people are frustrated that the Website isn't working, she says there is a paper alternative.
"I tell them to be patient," says Bryant.
She gives them the Medicaid form, which works the same as the online documents, and then mails it in.
This way, though, applicants have to wait weeks instead of minutes to learn if they're approved for financial assistance as the Department of Social Services reviews the work.
On Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services website was still an obstacle.
Tech experts were called in several times to fix glitches since healthcare.gov's debut a week ago. Experts say there's still time to fix those problems before the uninsured start getting coverage Jan. 1, according to the Associated Press.
Many cities have help for those who want more information about the Affordable Care Act.
In Portsmouth and Norfolk, there are several information sessions this month by the Hampton Roads Community Health Center
Portsmouth Community Health Center
October 15th at 6:00PM
Park Place Family Medical Center-Norfolk
October 12th at 10:00AM
October 24th at 6:00PM
O.V. Medical and Dental Center-Norfolk
October 19th at 10:00AM
October 26th at 10:00AM
For more information or to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org
In Suffolk, Joanne Grossi of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will give a presentation at the Morgan Memorial Library from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 29. Following the presentation, she will respond to citizen’s questions about the Affordable Care Act. For more information, call (757) 514-7323.