ALBANY, N.Y. - Tuesday marked the official beginning of open enrollment on the New York State of Health, the state's official health care marketplace under the Affordable Care Act -- but it wasn't smooth sailing.
The marketplace opened at 8 a.m. Tuesday and within the first 90 minutes over two million people clicked on to the newly-launched website. There were so many people attempting to visit the website that the site began to have log in issues.
Many people visiting the NY State of Health website after its launch were greeted with error messages when clicking on links to register as individuals or families. The links for employers, employees and brokers also experienced periodic problems.
"Today with the launch of New York State's Health Insurance Exchange over nine thousand New Yorkers, including business owners and individuals, shopped online for low cost health insurance for the first time. Since its launch, nystateofhealth.ny.gov has gotten approximately 10 million web visits, far more than was anticipated, causing login problems for users. In response to these issues, operators at the state's call center have assisted thousands of callers while our technicians have increased the site's capacity and are looking into the cause of this abnormally high traffic," said Donna Frescatore, Executive Director of NY State of Health, in a statement.
"There is too much there for one person to read," said plan-seeker Paula Ligato.
Ligato says she has 90 days to find a new insurance provider through the site. She currently holds down two part time jobs, one of which she gets insurance through.
"I went to the doctors, any doctor I wanted, $10 co pay," she said.
But she just got a letter in the mail from her company saying that she'll no longer be covered under that plan since the Affordable Care Act kicked in. Ligato says she was happy with her old plan at just over $80 a month -- the new one would cost her double that.
"I would have to take the bronze, if I took it that was $214," she said.
The site allows users to register by entering in all of their basic information and answering a series of questions like preexisting health conditions. It then allows you to compare plans side by side, but after spending about an hour on the site Ligato never got to that point.
"How the hell am I gonna do this? I'm not gonna be able to do it on my own," she said.
Ligato says she'll be doing more research over the weekend before she decides on a plan.
For more information visit http://www.HealthBenefitExchange.ny.gov