Local Help Navigating The Health Insurance Marketplace - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Local Help Navigating The Health Insurance Marketplace

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As a navigator for the Affordable Care Act's Healthcare Marketplace, Terri Gant has been trained to help people steer through the information super highway. But, when it comes to getting into the system for her own account, she too has hit a lot of bumps in the road. "You create the account then you go through the process of doing the application. I was able to get half way done with my application," explains Gant.

According to Healthcare.Gov website administrators, an estimated half a million people have logged into the system and successfully created accounts. However, thousands more have failed to get results. "Anytime you start some thing new you haven't worked all of the kinks out of it," Gant adds.

Although navigators like Gant are optimistic, critics are blasting the Obama Administration for rolling out a site that needed more extensive preparation and testing.  Former Candidate for President, Senator John McCain of Arizona, says, "It's been a fiasco, send air force 1 out to silicon valley, load it up with some smart people bring 'em back to Washington, fix this problem, it's ridiculous."

While the criticism continues, so does work on the health care initiative's site. It now features new tools to help unclog the traffic that has started to build up online. For example, there are icons providing contact information for representatives.

Terri Gant says, to avoid possible congestion or problems on the site, to have vital information handy before getting online. "Essentially, what I've been telling everybody is to have those IRS documents where they're filing their income tax handy. It has everybody's Social Security number in the household on that," Gant says.

Gant also says is also important to pack a lot of patience when navigating new territory on the information super highway. "The big thing is that some of us are able to get on now as before we were not able to get on at all."

You can also fill out paper applications to avoid backups in the system. Applications can be found at the Medical Associates Plus or the Christ Community Health Services in Augusta.

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