LAS VEGAS -- The Obama administration may be singing the praises of the Affordable Care Act but many Nevadans have had difficulty enrolling.
Numbers released by the government show almost no one in Nevada signed up between the end of December and the end of January. Officials at Nevada HealthLink dispute that information and say while sign-ups have lagged, more than 23,000 people are now enrolled. They say the government based its information on just one week, not the entire month.
Even with the 23,000 people enrolled, Nevada Health Link is still behind on their goal of getting 118,000 people enrolled by March 31. There are about 300,000 people eligible for the program.
Some Nevadans have been frustrated with the process, including Dwayne Martinez. He and his wife signed up in December. Although they are paying their $600 premiums, they still have not received their insurance cards because their provider has no record of their enrollment. Their insurer claims the problem is on Nevada HealthLink's end. Martinez says he has tried to rectify the issue to no avail.
"I have spent hours trying to get a hold of someone and have been on hold for hours before I finally speak to someone," he said.
When he has been able to speak to someone at Nevada HealthLink, he says, he was told the issue is not their problem. Martinez is now looking for insurance elsewhere.
The website and call center for Nevada HealthLink have had a bumpy start. Xerox runs the system and they say they are fully committed to getting all aspects of Nevada HealthLink right. They say they are using resources from throughout their company to achieve that goal. Staffing for the call center and website will be increased.