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GraceMed reports its first enrollee on federal health insurance website

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, at 3:27 p.m.
  • Updated Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, at 11:09 a.m.

Local navigators at GraceMed, who were hired to help people enroll in the online health insurance marketplace at HealthCare.gov, say they have finally enrolled their first person using the website.

The enrollment comes more than a month after enrollment was supposed to begin on the federal website, which has been riddled with technical problems.

Adam Rogg, navigator for GraceMed, said the clinic helped a person complete enrollment Friday afternoon. He said it took about an hour to set up an account and fill out the application and another half hour for the person to decide on a plan. It was the person’s first try to sign up on the website, he said.

“The time to decide on a plan is going to vary depending on the person,” he said. “They were glad to have insurance, for sure.”

Rogg said it was a good feeling to finally get someone enrolled.

“It’s good that the site will hopefully stop hampering people. It feels good to get to that point,” he said.

One of the other safety net clinics in town, the Center for Health and Wellness, has gotten more people signed up for accounts and to the point of enrollment, but hasn’t actually signed up any consumers for insurance, said Nick Clausen, the center’s lead navigator.

“People are taking time to look at the plans at home,” he said.

Navigators at the other safety net clinic, Hunter Health, were not available for comment.

To have coverage by Jan. 1, 2014, people can sign up on the website through Dec. 15. Under the new health law, nearly everyone is required to have health insurance.

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