The Ottumwa Courier

AP Iowa

October 7, 2013

Iowans note delays seeking health care information

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Many consumers hoping to shop for insurance through Iowa’s new health care exchange when it opened Tuesday encountered the same error messages and long waits as those in other states.

Ken Ridge, a 62-year-old retiree from Clive, said he wanted to compare his current policy with those offered through the state’s new online marketplace but was unable to create an account in the hours after it opened for business.

“The system has so much traffic that I wasn’t able to do it,” Ridge said. “They have a button where you can talk to someone in chat mode, but that didn’t work. Any system that has many millions of people trying to find out information at one time would have difficulty.”

Ridge’s experience was echoed by consumers throughout the U.S. who reported having trouble accessing the HealthCare.gov website or reaching someone who could help them on a toll-free Affordable Care Act phone number that was set up.

Health and Human Services spokeswoman Joanne Peters said that more than 1 million people had visited the website in the last day — five times more users than have ever been on the Medicare.gov at one time.

Violet Menke, 62, of Ankeny, doesn’t have a computer and tried to get information by phone Tuesday morning. After 90 minutes and several phone calls she became frustrated and called her own insurance company to get more information. When she called the toll-free information line she was told her wait would be 30 minutes.

Broadlawns Hospital saw between 50 and 60 people Tuesday morning who wanted help with the new exchange. The hospital’s 12 financial aid staffers have been trained as certified application counselors, said Senior Vice President Mikki Stier.

“We do have people showing up and it’s a very slow process with some delays. It’s really hard to get on the health exchange. It’s very, very busy,” she said.

Text Only
AP Iowa
  • Hot air balloon brushes power line at Iowa event INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) — A hot air balloon brushed a power line and caused an outage at the National Balloon Classic near Indianola. An event official, Bill Clemons, says the balloon was on the ground Tuesday night when it touched the wire and then dra

    July 30, 2014

  • Wilson Island State Recreation Area set to reopen COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A state recreation area near Council Bluffs is scheduled to reopen soon. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the Wilson Island State Recreation Area will open its gates Monday. Workers are currently adding fire r

    July 30, 2014

  • Iowa parents speak out against school changes DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Students at Des Moines middle schools no longer have the option to take advanced English and science classes. The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/WMKKcT ) Tuesday that some parents are concerned that top performer

    July 30, 2014

  • Iowa's first startup accelerator set to begin CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Rapids is joining the expanding pool of U.S. cities that want to kick-start fledgling businesses. The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1nSV5z7 ) that the Iowa Startup Accelerator begins Monday and is the fi

    July 30, 2014

  • Cedar Rapids murder case now in judge's hands CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A Linn County judge is considering the fate of a 20-year-old man accused of killing a former women's basketball standout from Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids television station KGAN says (http://bit.ly/1oKi8eC ) closing arguments

    July 30, 2014

  • Inspector had cited lauded Iowa nursing home WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) — A northeast Iowa nursing home was cited for unsanitary conditions in its kitchen seven weeks before it was lauded by the governor's office as among the best such facilities in the state, The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/U

    July 29, 2014

  • Dozens of animals found inside two Fort Dodge homes FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Fort Dodge authorities have found a total of 50 to 60 animals inside two homes that stank of urine and feces. Officers who responded to a nearby residence on Saturday were told about the animals. Officers then found eight dogs

    July 29, 2014

  • US Treasury secretary to visit Davenport area DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew will visit the Davenport area to tour a manufacturing plant. Lew is scheduled to travel to Iowa on Tuesday. He'll tour Alcoa's Davenport Works facility, which produces aluminum products, includ

    July 29, 2014

  • Authorities: Fire destroys railroad bridge in Iowa DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a fire has completely destroyed a railroad bridge in eastern Iowa along the Mississippi River. The Dubuque County Sheriff's Office says multiple departments responded to the Monday fire near the Massey Station. Cr

    July 29, 2014

  • Golf rounds donated for Linn County veterans CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Corporate sponsors and the city of Cedar Rapids have donated 675 rounds of golf for active duty and honorably discharged veterans in Linn County. Patriot Golf Week begins on Aug. 25 and ends on Labor Day. The week is set up

    July 29, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National