working better, but some customers still have errors with application

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Security and data issues still plague weeks before the new insurance plans are supposed to start-- leaving some consumers to wonder if they'll be covered next year.

The Health Insurance Marketplace has come a long way in two months. On day one, you couldn't do much. Now, you can apply for coverage, but it's not always a smooth process.

Mark Alan Miller wants to sign up for health insurance, but he keeps hitting roadblocks.

We watched Miller type his wife's Social Security number into the application, but the computer automatically generated a different Social a few questions later.

"One digit off and they transposed some other numbers," said Miller.

"How many people are receiving our Social Security number? How safe is it?" questioned Miller's wife.

Feeling insecure with the data online, Miller completed an application over the phone. That's when he got a new surprise. He didn't qualify for a subsidy even though he meets the guidelines .

Health and Human Services said the online calculators are estimates of costs and savings. The actual figures can differ significantly depending on the coverage and the insurer's pricing policies.

"Every person and supervisor there says I should be entitled to a subsidy. If it is entitled to me why shouldn't I get it?" questioned Miller.

Non-profit navigators like Legal Aid are also questioning some of the subsidy calculations by the government.

Insurance agent, Michele Malooley , said that's not the only problem.

"We're seeing different numbers, changing numbers. We see health carriers on the system one day and off the system the next day," said Malooley.

The government continues to fix bugs in the system, and wants consumers to start their application over if they experience problems .

"You have to delete the account if you can. Otherwise, you have to call to have them do the deletion," said Malooley.

Miller doesn't want to start over for a third time, and can't afford a policy without a subsidy. He's appealing the subsidy calculation , but he won't get an answer for 90 days which means he won't have new coverage in January like he'd hoped.

Double deductibles are a concern for some consumers if they don't have coverage January first, and start a new policy mid year.

There is help available to consumers. You will pay the same price whether you sign up yourself, hire a trained navigator, or use an insurance agent.

Trained navigators:
Urban League 561-833-1461
Planned Parenthood 561-848-6402
Palm Beach County Medical Society – 561-433-3940
Sickle Cell Foundation 561-833-3113
Whole Child Martin County 772-781-6320
Mustard Seed Ministries 772-465-6021
Treasure Coast Food Bank 772-489-3034
Health Council of SE Florida 561-844-4220
Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County 561-655-8944
Epilepsy Foundation 561-478-6515
Health Care District of Palm Beach County 561-209-2564
Genesis Community Health 735-6553

You can search for an insurance agent near you, through the National Association of Health Underwriters .


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