If you need insurance and haven't been able to enroll in the Marketplace on Healthcare.gov, you're certainly not alone. Technical glitches have plagued the system and insurers are getting bad data.
As a full-time caretaker for her disabled husband, 59-year-old Kathie Dubbelde needs affordable health insurance. She went to the online Marketplace and after several attempts was able to find savings.
"About $75 a month in premiums, plus much better coverage," Dubbelde said.
But when she tried to enroll, she got booted off. She called Avera Health Plans but didn't get much further.
"So I was back at square one. Even though I got in, I still didn't get any answers for what my monthly premium would be-a basic question, what would I have to pay out of pocket?
"We've got a lot of folks who are working very late at night," Deb Muller of Avera Health Plans said.
Avera Health Plans has set up this IT command center to look at each file and find errors.
"If you had twins or triplets it would perceive that second child as being a duplicate, so it didn't pass that information on to you," Muller said.
Avera Health Plans says the government will perform an upgrade next week to fix some of the technical issues.
"This is really actually going to work. It's just going to take time for the bugs to be fixed out of it," Muller said.
Of the 24 people who have successfully enrolled in the marketplace to date, 21 of those have enrolled in Avera Health Plans. Out of those the average age is rather surprising, 27-years-old and most are choosing the silver plans; that was predicted. They have the lower premiums, but higher out of pocket expenses when it comes to going to the doctor.
Dubbelde hopes soon to be one of those enrollees.
"But I learned a lot and I'll keep asking the questions and keep plugging away at going on the computer because I have to," Dubbelde said.
Dubbelde will get a tax credit. For those who do NOT qualify for a subsidy, you can skip the Marketplace all together and call the insurers directly to compare plans.
Avera Health Plans has added 20 employees and plans to add more, depending on how many people enroll for insurance. It's also set up store fronts in Aberdeen, Mitchell and Yankton and has a couple of people working in Rapid City.