Kan. Officials Urge Patience On New Health Exchange

Oct 2, 2013

When enrollment opened Tuesday, the online insurance marketplace for Kansas could not fully handle the crush of users who hit the federally run exchange website.

The Kansas Association for the Medically Underserved says it had 60 health care navigators across the state ready to work on the first day of enrollment.

Another 200 to 225 more are still in training. Six of those navigators are bilingual in Spanish, and one person knows sign language.

At GraceMed Health Clinic in Wichita, a steady stream of people came in for one-on-one sessions with Juven Nava one of the clinic's navigators.

However, Nava was unable to sign anyone up for coverage.

Sometimes he couldn't log into the website to sign them up, and sometimes the online exchange kicked him off.

Nava told people there will be glitches "but it is going to get better."

Republican U.S. Representative Tim Huelskamp says he tried to get into the exchange 20 times before giving up. Members of Congress are required by the Affordable Care Act to use the exchange.

The federal government is running Kansas' exchange because Gov. Sam Brownback and republican legislators have resisted implementing the Affordable Care Act.

The latest U.S. Census bureau estimates are that about 358,000 Kansans currently have no health insurance.