Affordable Care Act
12:32 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Local Insurance Agents Help People Through Health Care Sign-up

A conglomeration of city, county and private sector dignitaries gathered at CentroMed to give their blessing on President Obama's signature legislation. 

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro noted that 300,000 people in the city don't have insurance, but now is their golden opportunity to obtain medical coverage.

Katy Horrell, who received help enrolling in a health care plan, knew there'd be a few problems.

"There's going to be ups and downs in it," she said. "And I expect that, as long as it doesn't put a slam on me getting my medical taken care of because my life depends on it."

Now a few weeks into enrollment and no one predicted as much trouble as people have experienced -- everything from a slow website to people getting stuck in the process.

"It seems like to me they could have had the website up and running much better," said Dale Randol, who is Executive Vice President with IBC Insurance Agency, based in San Antonio. "It's very similar to the Medicare website, so they had a base to work from. So I'm not sure what the problems or why they're having all the technical problems."

Randol is working with clients and trying to keep them educated on what's going on, while he is also having trouble understanding what's happening.

"I have not even been able to get into the website myself," he said.

Randol said he believes the ACA may not be sustainable as it is presented now, but is a good place to start.

"It can be very detrimental, so you've got to go through the metric of health care reform to make sure that you understand what is happening," he said. "Now, they did put the fines off for employers. They're not starting in 2014. They start in 2015."

Individuals without a plan after Jan. 1, 2014, will face a fine.

Business leaders will need to figure out coverage options for their employees based on the number of people in their organization, and whether they are full time, part time, or seasonal.

On Monday the president said he is also frustrated with the problems, but vowed to fix the website so people will be able to enroll.

"So everybody who wants insurance through the marketplace will get insurance, period," Obama said.