We've seen a bit of a bumpy ride when it came to the roll out of health care exchanges and plans under President Obama's Affordable Care Act. But New York state officials involved in the exchange say the wrinkles in the program should be ironed out soon. Capital Tonight's Nick Reisman gives us a status update.
NEW YORK STATE -- Obamacare supporters are urging patience as the rollout of the health care law takes effect. New York's health exchange went into place October 1st and while some users experienced issues with website, state health officials more than 130,000 people have completed the application process. But the department is not releasing the number of people that have bought insurance.
"Our projections are at full implementation, which is about three years, 1.1 million New Yorkers sign up for coverage in our marketplace and we think we're on target with our estimates in the first year," said Donna Frescatore, New York State of Health Executive Director.
The exchange is meant to be a market place where insurance companies enter a pool and customers can pick a plan at a lower cost in order to meet the individual mandate requirement under the health care law. Though the site had a bumpy start several weeks ago, health department officials stress it's under control.
Frescatore said, "Some individuals continue to run into minor technical difficulties and so we have our customer service center available to help them as well as our technicians who are on site twenty four seven to make enhancements as they need to make them."
Meanwhile, organizations want to ensure that New Yorkers are aware of the insurance exchange and how to access it. The Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy is trying to spread awareness of the new law in minority and low-income areas of the state.
"What success is going to look like is going to be making sure people get the care that they need and I think as people understand this is a way for them to get the care at an affordable we'll continue to see folks going to register for coverage," said Kate Breslin of the Schuyler Center.
While the exchange on the federal level has experienced widespread glitches and made it difficult for some customers to access, Kate Breslin of the Schuyler Center says it's too early to judge the effectiveness of Obamacare before the potential benefits are realized.
Breslin said, "What we have right now is a seed and we get to see whether it grows and it would be hard to make a judgment about the success until people start using their health care coverage."