LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky's online marketplace for health insurance coverage has run into glitches due to the heavy volume of consumers on the opening day of enrollment.
State officials say by mid-morning Tuesday, more than 20,000 people browsed the website and more than 1,000 people signed up for coverage that begins Jan. 1.
They say the heavy volume temporarily shut down the online application process, but computer specialists are working to fix the problems.
Similar problems occurred in other states.
Dominique Williams of Louisville wasn't able to sign up for coverage but set up an appointment to finish her application.
Williams is uninsured and relies on prayer and home remedies to deal with ailments.
Gov. Steve Beshear says some 640,000 Kentuckians are uninsured. Kentucky ranks at or near the top nationally for a series of health problems.
The program called Kynect is expected to help uninsured residents get coverage through private insurance plans or Medicaid, as well as the Kentucky Children’s Health Insurance Program (KCHIP).
Four out of five Kentuckians who use kynect are expected to qualify for financial assistance to help cover a portion of their healthcare costs.
“Real access to health care will not only improve our collective health, but will strengthen our workforce and save Kentucky millions of dollars,” said Gov. Beshear. “I’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time, and I’m excited for our friends, neighbors and coworkers to finally enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having affordable health insurance.
Open enrollment for individuals seeking to purchase insurance through kynect begins October 1, and runs through March 31, 2014, with coverage beginning as soon as Jan. 1, 2014.
Open enrollment for small businesses also begins October 1, and businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be able to choose to enroll employees in plans offered through kynect.
The Governor will be at UK Hospital Wednesday morning to talk about the health benefit exchange, and highlight one of 150 registration kiosks set up statewide.