70,000 people eligible for special health enrollment


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70,000 people eligible for special health enrollment

By Bryan Callahan. CREATED Apr 1, 2014

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- The deadline to sign up for health insurance on the state exchange has passed, but not without some last minute issues.

More than 7,000 people were logged on during the final hours of enrollment, including many who ran into problems and failed to get coverage.

"It was a grueling ordeal, and once again through errors ultimately I couldn't submit, and I still can't submit today," Stacy Calvert said.

Stacy Calvert is one of thousands of Nevadans who spent hours struggling to negotiate the Nevada Health Link website Monday only to be met by error screens and other problems.

"Today alone I've attempted it all morning long, it still isn't allowing me to. Error messages telling me they are experiencing technical difficulties and all kinds of stuff," Calvert said.

The Silver State Health Exchange says traffic picked up on the site starting at 10 a.m. and peaked between six and eight in the evening when there were around 7,000 users on the site.

Those helping enroll people at the Nevada Health Co-op said that was easy to see when as they worked to get people registered ahead of the midnight deadline.

"Sometimes it took 20 minutes just to get a user ID and password," Patti McCoy said.

Co-op employees ended up getting people set up on the website to qualify them for the special enrollment period, and scheduling appointments starting today to get them enrolled in a health plan.

"We have already done some enrollments this morning that went really smoothly, and then link started having some error messages," McCoy said.

An estimated 70,000 Nevadans may be eligible for that 60-day special enrollment period. Those include most people who created accounts on the health link website before the midnight deadline.

Those still encountering problems are left wondering how much longer they have to struggle.

Action News reached out to Gov. Brian Sandoval’s office for comment on the website problems, and received this written statement.

"There is no question that Xerox's performance is unacceptable. I will continue to insist that Xerox operate an exchange that works for Nevada and hold it accountable for the Exchange's problems. Even today, I spoke with Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox, to reiterate my expectation that it cooperate with all efforts to make the Exchange operate properly."

Xerox had this to say about the sites performance in the final 24 hours:

"On Monday, March 31, the Nevada Health Link portal saw its highest volume since going live on October 1. The site has largely remained stable despite some slowness in the system and a temporary error message that resulted from the spike in traffic. In order to ensure the site continues to operate smoothly, we are working closely with the Exchange to identify critical issues and regularly implement improvements. Xerox is fully committed to Nevada Health Link and to helping Nevadans get access to affordable healthcare through the state’s health insurance exchange."

Bryan Callahan

Bryan Callahan

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Bryan Callahan joined the Action News team as a general assignment reporter in August of 2013.