At the "Get Covered Illinois" website Will Wilson manages to sign up for Medicaid in the pre-dawn hours on the 2nd of October. Wilson was diagnosed with AIDS 12 years back.
"No insurance company would touch me," he said, adding he was forced to file bankruptcy because of medical bills. At the time of his diagnosis, he was self-employed and had insurance.
"But it didn't really cover anything," he said. "I very quickly maxed out my credit cards.
"This has a very personal connection for me. It is freedom. I have freedom. I have options," Wilson said.
Wilson, who is unemployed, said he plugged in numbers on the site with a fantasy income level of $46,000 to see what the premium would be. He said he saw rates of between $320 and $360.
Kelly Sullivan, spokeswoman for the state's GetCoveredIllinois.gov site said there were no glitches on Wednesday to connect to the expanded Medicaid health site. It was when people connected to the Federal HealthCare.gov they had to wait to see the 165 plans available in Illinois. There were more than 230,000 visitors and 5000 people had applied for Medicaid.
The actual number of people who enrolled has not been disclosed by the federal government said spokesperson Fabien Levy; he said the volume was high as 6.1 million were first time visitors.
While "overwhelming interest is continuing to cause wait times, there will be continuing improvements in the coming hours and days," Levy said in the statement.
That was less than he was paying when he had insurance, "and they were covering more," he said.
Gayle Weiss from Chicago was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after an accident since 1995 has been unable to afford insurance, "The premiums were more than my mortgage payment, so I couldn't afford that," she said, adding, she's "absolutely totally excited," about the new marketplaces despite the glitches.
"It's not just the fact that I would be eligible for coverage with a pre-existing condition," she said. "No one should have to risk their future for something they have no control over, like illness."
The feds are adding capacity and streamlining the system to improve performance.
Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)
Francine Knowles October 2013