Mississippians turn to pen-and-paper for insurance

As healthcare.gov continues to be inoperable, Mississippians are signing up for insurance the old fashioned pen-and-paper way, the DailyJournal reported.

According to data the Mississippi Department of Insurance has received from the federal exchange, between 120 and 140 Mississippians have filled out applications through the online system.

The low number of applicants reflects technical glitches the website continues to display, not level of interest actually expressed by Mississippians, according to Roy Mitchell, executive director of Mississippi Health Advocacy Program.

“There are thousands in the pipeline,” as people resort to paper applications, Mitchell said. “You can’t deny the need in Mississippi.”

The paper application is five pages long, and you must be able to fill out pay stubs and a W-2 form.

A six-month open enrollment period began October 1 when the website launched.

Since then, it has been chaos for those trying to get covered.

Delays and glitches prevent users from signing up on top of a general confusion most share about the plan itself.

Cover Mississippi, an coalition formed to educate and enroll state residents in the new health care marketplace, stated that “78 percent of consumers who will be eligible for new health coverage under the Affordable Care Act have never heard of the health insurance exchanges and 60 percent said they will need help navigating the new system.”

To contact Cover Mississippi, call 601-353-0845 or 1-877-314-3843

For more information on the Affordable Care Act in Mississippi, click here.

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