New health care act causing confusion
MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- When the Affordable Care Act went into effect Monday, so many people logged onto Healthcare.gov that it was overloaded. The same thing is happening at the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center where they have already filled all of their October appointments to help patients navigate the new insurance system.
The flood gates are open and people are pouring in looking for assistance with the Affordable Care Act.
"You do have time to look at your options, but we do want to make sure we're giving the best service possible," said Sondra Gardetto, Manager of Health Insurance Services.
For Gardetto, the last 24 hours have been a challenge.
Healthcare.gov, the main site to help people choose a health insurance option was down for a while.
So many people were logging on, the system couldn't handle all of the traffic.
Further adding to the complexity of the new health care law, medical experts say navigating the health care exchange is no easy task.
They estimate fewer than one in four people have enough information about the Affordable Care Act.
"It reminds me of Y2K, the big bang - and waiting for it to happen. I think that's probably the best analogy to use, and now that it's happened, it's like everyone is trying to go online and make it happen for themselves," said Andre Waddell, Director of Consumer Assistance Services.
Staff at the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center say they're willing to help for free.
"The more services we can extend to the community, from an enrollment standpoint, the more we can kind of help to bring some clarity to the situation," said Waddell.
So far, they have filled all of their appointments for the month of October.
Health professionals say there are several options available if you need insurance, even if you think you can't afford it.
You have until early March to select an insurance plan or face a penalty.