DC residents enroll in Affordable Healthcare

12:02 PM, Nov 24, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- DC residents looking to enroll in Affordable HealthCare got to sign up at a DC Health Benefit Exchange hosted by DC Health Link.

Betty Cole has been uninsured for the last year and a half and denied coverage three times because of preexisting health issues.

"I've definitely been anxious to get coverage for some time."

Cole has been uninsured for the last year and a half and denied insurance three times because of preexisting health issues.

Dean Felten says, "Health-wise I'm fine. I don't take any special meds." Felten tried to sign up last month but he was among the many who became frustrated with the troubled roll out of the federal healthcare website.

Felten says, "I finally gave up. It's a little scary not being insured."

He's hoping for a better experience today at DC's Health Benefit Exchange through DC Health link.com.

DC residents who are hoping to sign up or shop around for healthcare are concerned about the process and the pricing.

Aisha Jackson says, "I'm looking to get insurance that's cheaper because it's too expensive."

She pays $600 a month for her Cobra Health Insurance that's about to run out. But she hasn't been able to check out the pricing.

DC's Healthcare Exchange Authority Executive Director Mila Kofman says they have the support group to help navigate through the confusion and slow process.

"We have individual consumers who are working with DC Health Link Assisters. We have small businesses who are working with insurance brokers.  We have people who are waiting for assisters."

Felten was finally able to get in and compare benefits, but the expense may cost him some coverage. 

"The coverage and what my co-pay was have gone up and covers less. I will not full coverage realistically."

An hour and half later, Betty Cole was still waiting to complete the application process.

"At least I started the process. It's progress," she says.

According to DC Link, more than 20,000 households have created accounts to shop for health insurance. More than 1,000 have chosen health insurance for the New Year.

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