TV-6 Investigates: Health Care Reform, Where To Get Help - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

TV-6 Investigates: Health Care Reform, Where To Get Help

Updated: Oct 1, 2013 09:46 PM

The Affordable Care Act health exchanges went through some hiccups Tuesday.

Healthcare.gov was slowed down by the sheer number of people logging onto it.

Some people ran into a glitch with the web page's security questions.

Keeping them from creating an account at all.

Federal staff say they are working on the issues.

None of them have anything to do with the government shut down, the Affordable Health Care act is paid for with mandatory spending from the federal budget.

All this reliance on technology though, leaves some people unsure of where they can get help.

"I don't know exactly where to even start looking, I'd be open for suggestions," says Joey Padilla.

He does not have health insurance through his job. He suffers from asthma and he's relied on Community Health Care to keep him stocked with his inhaler.

"There's times when you have 911 on your mind, if you don't have it in the middle of the night, it's kinda scary," says Padilla.

He'd like some health insurance, but he wants to talk to someone about it before buying. That's where Mateo Tiry-Ortiz comes in. He's the enrollment coordinator with Community Health Care.

"Take them through the enrollment process from beginning to end," says Tiry-Ortiz.

His is one of many Quad City groups offering in person assistance.

"There's going to be a lot of questions, there's going to be a lot of changes," says Tiry-Ortiz.

Genesis has navigators, Casa Guanajuato, Project Now, and the Rock Island County Health Department also offer in person help. Help Community Health Care CEO Tom Bowman expects will be needed.

"Grasping the coverage and being able to explain the meanings in a way that makes sense to someone who has never had insurance before."

Meanings Lori Grant says are very confusing.

"They need to explain things a little better to people so people can understand it, layman's terms."

Grant lost her health insurance six months ago when she lost her job. Right now the only thing she's heard about the Affordable Care Act is the tax penalty.

"I think a lot of people are getting scared, they don't know where to go who to talk to," says Grant.

She has someone to answer her questions. All the other groups want to be that someone for everybody else.

In person assisters are free services.

Insurance agents can also help people understand marketplace insurance, as long as they follow certain rules.

Anyone providing help must complete state and federal training.

Healthcare.gov provides a list based on your zip code.

Healthcare.gov also has an online web chat providing help and a hot line, 800-318-2596.

Illinois provides another list for its residents.

The state also offers a toll free help desk, 866-311-1119.

You can check Iowa and Illinois licensed assisters by clicking each state's name.

Genesis offers information on its website.

Unity Point Health will make appointments with its certified application counselors. Call 309-779-4584.