State reports delays in HealthCare.gov applications

PHOENIX - After injuring his knee, Beau Snider of Mesa needed some health insurance.

He says signing up on HealthCare.gov was easy. And he found out that he qualified for the state’s Medicaid program, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).

“I got a reply saying a state agent would contact me,” said Beau.

Beau says that never happened. And after weeks of going back and forth between the federal and state agencies, he finally got a nugget of information from AHCCCS.

“She basically told me that HealthCare.gov had not sent Arizona the applications to process yet,” said Snider.

He felt like he was getting nowhere, so he let me know.

AHCCCS tells me 60,000 Medicaid eligible Arizonans have applied through HealthCare.gov.

According to the state agency's website , the transfer of those applications from the federal system to the state are “making eligibility determinations impossible in some situations” because of technical glitches on the federal government's end.

A HealthCare.gov spokesman would not comment specifically on the delay in transfer of applications but says they have “been working closely with states to ensure that applications for Medicaid coverage are processed.”

He also had Beau’s case referred to a case worker.

Less than a week later, we caught up with Beau just before his first doctor visit---on his new insurance plan.

“It was in a couple of days. Everything got rolling,” said Snider. “I was enrolled approved, and then they sent me my health plan."

AHCCCS says they are working around the processing challenges manually, and that the “account transfer process will be slow and cumbersome for the foreseeable future.”

In the meantime, if you still need to apply or believe your HealthCare.gov application is in limbo, AHCCCS is encouraging people to apply directly with the state at healthearizonaplus.gov.

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