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Macon Man Struggles On Healthcare Sign-Up | Health

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Macon Man Struggles On Healthcare Sign-Up

Create. Log-on. Fill in. Enroll.

The steps to buy a plan through the health insurance marketplace that opened Tuesday were designed to be simple. 

But, "Every avenue that I've tried takes me back to the beginning, which is a dead end," said Alvin Bell.

Alvin Bell is at the Middle Georgia Regional Library a lot. After all, he has no Internet access at home.
"There are a lot of other people just like me who don't have Internet access. This makes it very convenient," Bell said.
The Middle Georgia Regional Library has 46 computers and free Internet and wireless access.
Catie Tierney, reference librarian, tells 13WMAZ that with enrollment for the health insurance marketplace now open, she expects to see higher demand and longer wait times in the computer lab.
"I'm expecting, in December, when the deadline gets closer, we're going to see hot activity in the computer lab," Tierney said.
For the past two days, Bell has been trying to buy a health plan through the online marketplace at www.healthcare.gov.

Still, he's had no success.

"At the end of the process of creating the account, there are no security questions," Bell said. "Therefore, you can't log in! You can't create an account."
At 51-years-old, Bell has worked 14 different jobs, on top of writing a book.
But for the past eight years, he hasn't been able to afford health insurance.
This marketplace, he says, can change that.

"Just given the opportunity to afford health care, it's a big plus," Bell said. "I look forward to it."

Frustrated, but understanding, Bell says he still has plenty of time to sign up.

Enrollment for the online marketplace doesn't close until March 31.

"I'm trying to be patient, because I understand it's a new system," Bell said. "The President gave a speech yesterday saying there are 5 times the number of people trying to log on, so I'm sure that they're overwhelmed. I'm just trying to be patient."

After all, when it comes down to it, Bell says, "I can't put a price on my health."

Follow 13WMAZ's Anita Oh on Twitter @anita_oh.


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