Ohio Lt. Governor and Insurance Director Mary Taylor told a group of small business owners on Wednesday that the state insurance office struggled to send information about Ohio’s health plans to Washington by computer this summer and they began bracing for problems, the AP reported. “This is what we expected,” she said of the “glitches” with the website for the federal exchanges. Ohio chose not to set up a state exchange, instead directing eligible citizens to the federal exchanges.
Taylor told Ohio members of the National Federation of Independent Business that while exploring the federal health exchange website she experienced the same problems that many consumers have reported. “I’ve been on,” Taylor said. “The note that comes up to be patient, high volume — experiencing high volume of users. You know, it is frustrating.”
Taylor’s office is suggesting that people try the new website during off hours. “Maybe if we all get up at midnight and try to get on the system — well, if we all do, it won’t work,” Taylor quipped to the business owners.
Taylor, a frequent critic of the Affordable Care Act, also said she doesn’t know how many Ohioans have enrolled in the federal exchanges because Washington is running them.
On October 4th, Taylor and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine warned of scams associated with the new exchanges.
“Scammers often pretend to be associated with the government to make their ploys seem real,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We want to warn Ohio families to be on guard for potential scams and to take steps to protect themselves.”
“It’s imperative Ohioans understand the facts about the ACA and the federal exchange so they can best protect themselves,” Taylor said. “Because the federal law and the exchanges are new and complicated to consumers, Ohioans should be even more cautious about potential scams and fraudulent behavior.”
They said bogus websites purporting to be part of the exchanges have been appearing online for more than a year. They look like the official website and attempt to collect personal information by asking visitors to complete online forms to receive subsidies and insurance policies. They also warned of scammers posing as Navigators, as well as identity thieves asking people to give up personal information in order to receive new Medicare, Medicaid, or Obamacare cards, which are not required by the new law.