“The marketplace itself has been plagued with delays and not working properly,” she added. “That’s one of the things that has frustrated people. Sometimes they don’t want to come back to it because it takes so long to get their application done.”
D’Agostino, who helps guide applicants through the process at her IHC office and Project Access, said some of the bugs on the ACA website have been worked out. She finds, though, many of those she has helped have returned on multiple occasions to finish their applications or get help determining what their next course of action is — despite having been guided through the process for 1.5 hours per session.
“Lately it’s been working a lot better,” she said. “We’ve been able to get through the application and go all the way to eligibility and even select plans.”
While St. Joseph Hospital hasn’t experienced many issues with the rollout of the ACA in terms of treating new patients, there are some quirks that need to be worked, officials said.
Perhaps the biggest issue is the fact that not everybody who enrolled has received their insurance card, St. Joseph Director of Marketing and Public Relations Sandy Herman said.
“Without that card, patients don't have proof of insurance,” she said. “We will treat patients, regardless of proof of insurance, but it causes worry for the patients about whether their services will be covered. The good news is that St. Joseph has people who are trained to help insured patients obtain proof of insurance so they don't have to worry.”
There are some common misconceptions new patients might have when entering the health insurance marketplace, Herman said, including the assumption that getting insurance through the marketplace means people will be covered no matter where they go for care.