Skip to comments.People Without Email Addresses [available for free] Face Difficulty Enrolling In Obamacare Exchanges
Posted on 10/04/2013 7:43:15 AM PDT by grundle
Down in South Texas, health care providers are reporting an unusual problem with the federal marketplace: Many patients dont have email addresses and, therefore, cant sign up online.
The Brownsville Community Health Center had 50 people show up on Tuesday ready to sign up for health coverage -- many even brought pay stubs and income documentation -- but not a single one of them had an email address.
"If you dont include an email address, they wont let you through," said Christela Gomez, the special projects coordinator and lead certification application counselor at the center. Although the center considered helping people sign up for an email account, Gomez said many weren't comfortable with the idea because they did not have a computer to access the email address later. "Quite a few didnt even know what an email address was," she added.
The centers certified application counselors helped the patients fill out paper applications, but they'll have to wait for a written response from the federal government to find out whether additional documentation is needed or whether those applicants qualify for tax credits.
Some of the questions on the paper application were difficult for patients to answer, said Gomez. One man who came in to receive assistance finding health coverage currently works as a truck driver, she said. He earns 30 cents per mile, and his income can range from $50 to $100 a week.
"We didnt really know how to fill in the income part with him," she said, adding, "We kind of just wrote it in on the side, his situation."
Paula Gomez, the executive director of the center, said her patients are mostly adults who are too young to qualify for Medicare. Although most of her patients have jobs, pay taxes and want to cooperate with the health care system, there are extenuating circumstances like language barriers that make it difficult.
"I'm sure there are pockets like ours all over the country," Gomez said. She added that the federal government should be more flexible and consider the different situations people are facing across the country. "They think in terms of everything that's going on in Washington, D.C., but they don't look at the reality of the rest of the world in the United States," she said.
Ongoing technical difficulties on the new federal health insurance marketplace's website have created road blocks for Texans trying to sign up and review coverage options under the Affordable Care Act.
"We keep getting kicked off the network, but we've screened some patients," said José Camacho, executive director of the Texas Association of Community Health Centers. "People, from what we can gather at the centers, are quite excited."
Although Tuesday marks the beginning of a six-month enrollment period, Camacho said many Texans have already shown up at federally qualified health centers to receive assistance applying for coverage in the exchange. He described one woman who has a master's degree but recently started a job that doesnt offer health benefits coming to Lone Star Circle of Care in Georgetown seeking help. Unfortunately, glitches on the federal website prevented the certified application counselors at the center from helping the woman create an account and begin exploring her health plan options.
"With any new product launch, there are going to be glitches as things unfold," Marilyn Tavenner, a federal administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said on a media conference call. She said that 2.8 million people have visited the federal marketplace since midnight, and more than 81,000 calls have been placed to their call center. "This is Day 1 of a process. We're in a marathon, not a sprint, and we need your help," she added.
Although the federal marketplace will eventually be able to determine whether an applicant is eligible for state programs like Medicaid and the Childrens Health Insurance Program, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which oversees those programs, said the federal website isn't yet able to send applicants' information directly to those plans. The agency is encouraging people who think they may be eligible for those programs to apply directly on the state website, Your Texas Benefits.
"This federal glitch could lead to delays in children getting health coverage," Dr. Kyle Janek, executive commissioner of HHSC, said in a statement. "We've let workers in our offices around the state know about this issue so they can make sure families have accurate information."
Sixty-seven federally qualified health centers that are members of TACHC collectively received $10 million to provide outreach, in-reach and enrollment assistance. So far, theyve trained 230 certified application counselors. Some centers, such as Su Clinica Familiar in Harlingen and Brownsville, recently received certification and will finish training additional counselors in the coming weeks.
After signing himself up on HealthCare.gov around 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Carl Dahlquist, a certified application counselor and the outreach and enrollment supervisor at the Gulf Coast Health Center in Port Arthur, couldnt get back into the system.
"We had a lot more come in today than weve had in the last several weeks because today was Oct. 1," said Dahlquist.
While most people wanted some advice and literature to take home and consider, Dahlquist said he used old-fashioned pen and paper to determine the eligibility status of one man. Although the man didn't qualify for coverage in the federal marketplace, Dahlquist said he was eligible for Texas Medicaid's program for the elderly and disabled. Ironically, Dahlquist said the state's website was also down.
Because it's obivious that Obama, and any Dem that supports Obamacare, is discriminating against those who are computer-challenged. Or, who don't have access to computers. Or, who don't want access to computers.
there are a lot of people that don’t have e-mail addresses! There are many people who don’t have smart phones, computers, etc... And people will not buy this crap!
Email isn’t free - it comes with full-spectrum surveillance, and is a key that they use to cross-reference the various records they collect on every individual. You know why Janet Napolitano refuses to use it, right?
Be careful with that one. the Dems will be demanding free computers and email for all.
People without email addresses?! Oh no, we didn’t think about that!
No problem. We can help them get an email address. However, we draw the line at helping them get a drivers license or ID for voting purposes.
Well, if they claim that having an e-mail address is a form of tax, they can force people to get one.
I’ve been using email since pre-www days (compuserve, Delphi, AOL, GEnie, Prodigy, etc.), and I WILL not forego paper billing when pushed to do so.
One: e-mail addresses change
Two: A bill is a likely casualty in the anti-spam wars
Three: bills are faked by phishing artists. Once in a while they get it close enough that someone clicks on it. (One time at my former employer, it was the shipping manager who clicked on something convincing looking from UPS. It happens.)
I sure would not want health care whatever going primarily through e-mail.
We must make Obamaphones smartphones, with web access, a data plan, and free email account. Tens of thousands of people are being disenfranchised from their right to health insurance!
Registering voters will be a goal, also.
People too stupid to own or operate a computer maybe.
this is ludicrous
These are same illiterates and imbeciles who allegedly don’t have photo ID for voting and are unable to do so. But they know all the ins and outs of all the welfare programs and how to milk them to the max. By exchanging ideas and tips with neighbors and family scamsters
GIB ME MY OBAMAFONES!!!
Do you mean the homeless have e-mail addresses?
Fascinating that the same Democrats who recoil in horror at the thought of a voter forced to show a photo ID are the ones demanding tons of information in order for anyone to sign up for health care. I thought, to them, health care was a “right” and shouldn’t that right be as sovereign as the right to vote? Who are the Dems to put so many impediments in the way?
Do you know where the last vestige of free health care exists? Prisons! Become a felon and not only does the government give you free health care (and free housing, free meals, etc.) but the Democrats are working hard to see that you get the right to vote!
and of course you need a photo ID to get an email..
I am very close to dumping my email or at least I wish I could (cell phone too). My plan when my last kid are out on their own is to do just that.
They can sign up via the phone (800-318-2596.) or in person with a “navigator/SEIU/OFA/HHS/MSNBC” representative.
Really don’t see the problem.
I think they have already demanded free transportation...
More arrogance from the younger generation:
“Everyone has a cell phone.....
Everyone drinks Starbucks......
Everyone drives/wants an electric car.....
Everyone has a laptop.....
Everyone has a modern computer”....
Everyone has...... You fill it in.
Where I live, within 4 miles of me, there are people who are living OFF the grid. A computer isn’t even in their vocabulary.
I am not one bit surprised that one must have a computer for Obamacare info back & forth.\
Another reason to reject the entire concept.
I pay for my service-—who doesn’t?
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