FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2013 file photo, Laura Leon, project director for the navigator program at Sinai Community Institute of Chicago, speaks at a gathering of individuals seeking information on the new national health overhaul law that takes effect Oct. 1, 2013. Millions of Americans will be able to shop for the first time Tuesday on the insurance marketplaces. Whether consumers will be pleased with the experience, the premiums they will pay and the out-of-pocket costs of the plans offered to them will finally start to become clear. Tuesday's rollout comes after months of buildup in which the marketplaces, also known as exchanges, have been both praised and vilified. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
If you tried to sign up for healthcare online chances are you hit a few roadblocks.
Even with the government shut down, President Obama promised the online healthcare marketplace would be there he was right. It rolled out but so did a load of technical problems.
If you logged onto the healthcare marketplace, this is what you probably saw for hours on end. KAPA Executive Director Erin Hill says, "The website has been overwhelmed by volumes. People are unable to go on and register. There's been some frustration there."
Don't worry open enrollment lasts for six months. Erin tells Local 8 News that traffic should die down in a week or so. At that time you can go online yourself, but if you need assistance you'll want to use either a navigator or a broker. Navigator and broker are new lingo that come with the program.
So what's a navigator. Someone who's gone through 20 hours of training with the Health and Human Services Department. They can help over the phone or you can call for an office appointment.
Hill says, "We're here to make sure they have the best information to make the best decison when it comes to their healthcare coverage."
Navigators aren't licenced though, and they can't actively discuss benefits of the plans. They can talk about guidelines, but can't sell any plans. For that you need an insurance broker which is anyone who sells health insurance.
Broker Aaron Christner says, "We have a little more experience and have more options available."
Whether you go online youreself, choose a broker or navigator, Aaron has one piece of advice for everyone.
Aaron Christner says, "Now is the time to look at it. Whether you want health insurance or not, you need to look at it."
For more information on navigators, call (865) 531-2766.
For more information on brokers, call (865) 251-5141.