Amidst continual technical difficulties, delays, and virtual “wait rooms,” a total of five Iowans have succeeded in purchasing health insurance on the government’s new online insurance exchange. According to the Des Moines Register, these five endured multiple delays over the course of a week, time and again being forced out of the system, until they were finally able to purchase an insurance plan from CoOportunity Health on the marketplace by Wednesday morning.
“They threaded the needle and got in,” said Cliff Gold, the insurance carrier’s chief operating officer. “It’s like when a radio station says, ‘If you’re the 20th caller, you’ll win something.’ These people were the 20th caller.”
CoOportunity health is one of only two carriers who are selling insurance plans on the Iowa federal-state exchange. Coventry, the single other statewide insurance provider, declined to say if it had sold a single policy.
Since October 1, when the insurance exchanges were unveiled, the websites have been prone to failure after failure. Americans are still forced to buy insurance by March 31 of 2014 to comply with Obamacare’s individual mandate.