Health care enrollment experiences better than expected for some - Dallas News |

Health care enrollment experiences better than expected for some

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In Texas, just under 3,000 people successfully signed up for health insurance during the first month of the enrollment.

While some may feel that number is low, the regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services says she's encouraged by the numbers.

Alice McKinnon had reservations walking into Parkland Hospital to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Health Care Act.

"All you hear is, ‘It's got glitches, it's got glitches; they need to get it fixed, we are going to get it fixed.' That's all you hear," she said.

But McKinnon was pleasantly surprised on her visit, a full month and a half since the Oct. 1 healthcare marketplace launch.

"It did not snag, and she [the navigator] was really good about showing me what to do and explaining everything," she said.

"At the very beginning, the marketplace website was down the majority of the time," said Marian Morrow, who oversees 76 certified application counselors, or navigators, at Parkland. "What we see now in the middle of November is we are able to successfully get a lot of patients through."

Since Texas opted out of creating its own state-run marketplace, Texans have been relying on the glitch-plagued federal website.

Close to 3,000 Texans signed up in the first month, which is 11 percent of the nearly 27,000 using the federal market place that covers 36 states, compared to the more than 79,000 for the 14 states and the District of Columbia with state-run insurance marketplaces.

As more people are able to sign up online, they're finding more questions.

"At one time they thought, ‘If I get my plan selection I have it made, and now I realize I have all these options, what am I going to do?'" said Morrow.

And that's where McKinnon finds herself -- at a coverage crossroads, weighing plans and costs. 

"Right now I'm kind of at a standstill," she said. "Because now I have to read through miles and miles of what it's going to take for me for my health care."

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