Houstonian having trouble accessing Texas Marketplace to buy insurance online


For the third day, people in Houston are having a terrible time getting into the Texas Marketplace to buy insurance on the exchange that was set up for Texas by the federal government. And it's been frustrating for those who keep trying.

"I haven't been to a doctor for three years, at all," Balassi said.

Carolle Balassi is self employed as a hair stylist. She pays high rates for her health insurance that gives her minimal coverage. So she pays out of pockeet every time she goest to the doctor. She had hoped to buy better insurance for less money on the federal exchange. But when she goes to healthcare.gov, she hasn't been able to get through the online application process.

"I've been trying for three days up to this morning, 6 o'clock. Around 6 o'lock, I got a page with adverstixing and I clicked to put my ZIP code in it an I got back to a white page," Balassi said.

She's not alone. Over at the Legacy Clnic, where people have trained to enroll others, they're stuck with those white pages too.

"Due to the capacity overload on the website, we've been upable to enroll anybody," health care counselor Monica Rios said.

Not one person in three days, nd all of the certified application counselors have been stuck in about the same place.

In frustration, some people are going to insurance brokers, which is fine, but it's the federal exchange that provides the subsidy for those that qualify.

"That's $46,000 for an individual and $96,000 for a family, so if you make less than that then you get a subsidy so the government helps you with the premium," said Dr. Aanand Dinkar Naik with the Baylor College of Medicine. "For the most part that does not happen on a private exchange or on some brokers."

Balassi will keep trying to buy insurance online through the Texas Marketplace.

"It's very annoying. I know we have to be patient and I am," Balassi said.

But people want to know how long will it take, and that seems to be the question without an answer today.

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