The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast 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 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 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
Southeast Iowa
  • County attorney requests an assistant Monday morning the Appanoose County Board of Supervisors in the Courthouse boardroom moved to table a request from Appanoose County Attorney Susan C. Daniels to hire an assistant county attorney and amend her budget by $38,833.60 to cover the cost. T

    July 28, 2014

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Auditor: state budgeting better, relies on surplus DES MOINES (AP) — The state auditor in her annual review of the state budget says Iowa's political leaders have improved spending practices but Iowa still spends more than it takes in and covers the difference by dipping into a budget surplus. Audito

    July 28, 2014

  • Navy and Gold Gala photo Navy & Gold Gala proceeds support transportation needs

    The third annual Navy & Gold Gala had a wild west theme this year, part of an effort to keep things fresh and attract new people

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Seusical 261.JPG Summer Fun for Families: Seussical the Musical

    Need a Dr. Seuss fix? Or just to get out of the house with a younger child for a few hours? Pella will be staging "Seussical the Musical."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Darth Vader is polling higher than all potential 2016 presidential candidates

    On the other hand, with a net favorability of -8, Jar Jar is considerably more popular than the U.S. Congress, which currently enjoys a net favorability rating of -65.

    July 25, 2014

  • Taking a look at Iowa's rural bridges and roads

    OSKALOOSA — National statistics indicate that Iowa roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair.According to the Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland report, 22 percent of Iowa’s rural bridges are deficient.Maha

    July 25, 2014

  • 0726 OTT cedar creek Gone in a flash

    BLOOMFIELD — Bob Parker got about as close to lightning as you can Friday morning, and came out of it without injury. A line of thunderstorms started moving through southeast Iowa in the early morning hours. Parker was heading to work at about 7 a.m.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Southeast Iowa's Lake Darling State Park reopens BRIGHTON, Iowa (AP) — Lake Darling State Park has reopened after around six years of restoration work in southeast Iowa's Washington County. The $16 million project began in 2008 and included draining the 300-acre lake and replacing a dam. The park n

    July 25, 2014

  • Honey Creek Resort recognized for recycling MORAVIA — Honey Creek Resort State Park on Rathbun Lake has been selected as having the best government recycling program by the Iowa Recycling Association.“Iowa’s Greenest Resort” received the award July 17 during the Iowa Recycling Association annu

    July 24, 2014

AP National