Health care navigators in Texoma see surge in last-minute applic - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Health care navigators in Texoma see surge in last-minute applicants

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ATOKA -- Hurry up and wait.

Whether it's on the phone, online or in line, when it comes to meeting the March 31 deadline for the Affordable Care Act many found out the hard way, it would be a while.

"What we've run into is that everybody's waiting until the last minute to sign up and when we call the call center, they're extremely busy," Katie Maxey, Navigator Coordinator for Atoka, Johnston, Marshall and Murray counties said.

The wait online isn't any better.

Monday morning, Healthcare.gov hit another technical glitch.

The online marketplace application and enrollment system went down around 3:20am eastern time.

A statement from site officials blame the issue on a software bug.

White House spokesperson Jay Carney addressed the issue at a news conference.

"There is a technical problem that the tech team is on," Carney said. "There are currently 100,000 people in the system who are enrolling and there's no problem for them to enroll. For the causes of different glitches that are being addressed, I would refer you to CMS. But, as has been the case all along, when there's a problem like this it gets addressed and addressed quickly."

A message Maxey saw when she logged on around noon Monday stated, "Healthcare.gov has a lot of visitors right now."

It asked users to wait or to leave their email to hold their place in a virtual waiting room.

"Is it a problem that they don't answer at the moment? No, it's not a problem because I believe they're going to call back and we're going to be able to get the insurance going," Maxey said.

Because of a last-minute extension, consumers only have to begin the process of applying to meet Monday's midnight deadline.

Maxey says calling counts.

"Since you called today and you left a message you're still okay because today would be the day that you're attempting to try. Even though it's the last day, you're still attempting to try today," she said.

The deadline to begin the application process is midnight.

The new deadline to finish enrolling is April 15 which is also the last day to file your income taxes.

A list of navigators in Oklahoma can be see here.