Callers to Health Exchanges Face Long Wait Times


Those looking to enroll in Obamacare by phone have faced wait times of an hour or more while attempting to sign up for health care coverage, forcing many to give up altogether.

The Associated Press reports:

Long wait times of an hour or more have been commonplace in some states, primarily those running their own health care exchanges. California, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada and Washington are among the states in which consumers and insurance agents have complained. One consequence is that people just give up because they are unable to wait indefinitely.

“If I had to use one word, I’d use ‘frustrating,'” said Jacki Manley, a stay-at-home mom in the western Maryland town of Keedysville, who has been trying since mid-December to enroll in a health plan through that state’s health exchange.

With a child who is almost 3 and another who is 5 months, the 20 minutes she can spare on hold often have not been enough. She estimates she has reached someone at the Maryland call center three out of about a dozen times she has called, but then she gets passed between different people and cannot get definitive answers to her questions.

Enrolling by phone was offered as a solution by many in the Obama administration as a way to avoid using the troubled Obamacare website.

The administration is well behind its goal of having 7 million individuals enroll by the March 31 deadline.