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Healthcare Exchange Barely Better in Week 2

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Last week, the Healthcare Exchange website went online, and we showed you then how one Corridor Resident couldnt get signed up. Back then, we barely got anywhere. Today, we got farther, but still couldnt get signed up.

"It did get frustrating especially since we had to create a whole new ID to get anywhere," said Mimz Grabau, who tried to sign up for the Healthcare exchange for the second week in a row.

Today, Mimz had created her account and entered her personal information before the website stopped working about 30 minutes in.

"And then you are able to send that information and get the coverage, said Certified Application Counselor Heather Rowe.

But we ever got to that third and final step, comparing the coverages side by side. Simply put, the exchange sign up isnt quite working yet, but local organizations and clinics are already working together to help sign up any local resident who wants some help.

The Community Health Free Clinic has a room with three cubicles set up where they hope patients can some in and sit down with a coordinator like Heather, where she can read through the application and answer any questions as they go along. Once the system is up and running, they hope to help over 100 patients a week.

Its helpful to have somebody else sit there with you and read through the questions, said Rowe.

Its so that we for sure know, that they comprehended that question and that its answered accurately, said Community Health Free Clinic Chief Executive Officer Darlene Schimdt.

It assists patients who might not speak English very well or have trouble understanding any one of the numerous questions about personal insurance.

"It helps, because you might misread the question and then somebody else reading might help you go, 'Oh yeah, that's what they mean, said Grabau.

Local groups like the Community Health Free Clinic and Linn County Care are working together to help schedule Linn County Residents to sign up for the Exchange. That county-wide effort wont start until November, which will give the exchange website some time to work out the bugs like the ones that weve been seeing. Residents still have until December 15th to sign up in order for their coverage to start on January 1st.

To sign up for the exchange, click here.

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