By Lena H. Sun and Sarah Kliff, Published November 21
Brokers and agents say a host of technological problems is blocking their ability to help consumers sign up for coverage through the federal health insurance Web site.
They say it is a particular problem for people with major health issues — those considered high-risk — because they are least able to weather a gap in coverage.
Brokers “have hundreds of these [consumer] files sitting on their desks trying to get help for these people,” said Jessica Waltman, senior vice president for governmental affairs at the National Association of Health Underwriters, which represents about 200,000 health insurance agents and brokers. Waltman was briefing state insurance regulators by telephone Thursday about enrollment problems in the new health insurance marketplaces. She said the problem was occurring mostly in the 36 states in the federal marketplace.