LAS VEGAS -- Fewer than 13,000 Nevadans signed up for health insurance on the state-run exchange by Monday's deadline.
Exchange officials say 12,745 confirmed policy selections were made by the 11:59 p.m. Monday deadline. Payment on about half of those was still needed by 6 p.m. Friday to ensure coverage as of Jan. 1.
That is compared to the estimated 600,000 Nevadans who are uninsured.
Officials with Nevada's Silver State Health Insurance Exchange set a target enrollment of 118,000. But they concede meeting that goal by the end of March when the sign-up period ends will be challenging.
Confusion and website glitches have kept people from signing up.
Caridad Soroa is looking for health coverage, but for her, the process hasn't been easy.
"Even to get a user name or password to get through, it is hard," Soroa said.
In the massive crowd signing up last minute, some received
error messages. Healthcare navigators like Andres Ramirez say others tried to
enroll but couldn't finish the final step.
"They thought they completed the application. They went through the process, yet for whatever technical glitch or reason beyond their control, they weren't able to finish paying for their plan," Ramirez said.
Another group was told they were eligible for Medicaid and more than a month later, learned they were not.
They were left needing to pick a plan just days before the Dec. 23 deadline.
For these people, the state has now extended the date for Jan. 1 coverage to Dec. 30 and increased the website's capacity.
"I'm confident about where we are in the process," Ramirez said.
However, people are still are confused and still asking questions.
"I'm just taking it day by day. If I get penalized, in the long run, then I get penalized. I need health insurance but it is a hard system," Soroa said.
State insurance leaders say they expect the website to run more smoothly as they continue to make changes. Website enhancements have allowed navigators to cut processing time in half in just this past week.
The final date to sign up for health insurance is March 31. People who have not started the process at that point will face a penalty.
To sign up for insurance on the exchange, go to nevadahealthlink.com.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)