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Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - 11:16am

Website Blocks Enrollment On First Day

Georgians trying to enroll in health coverage on Tuesday ended up frustrated by technical glitches.

A surge of consumer interest overwhelmed computer systems on the first day of enrollment under the Affordable Care Act.

Americus insurance agent Russ Childers was among Georgia health underwriters meeting in Savannah Tuesday for their annual meeting.

He walked on stage to show about a hundred other agents in a packed convention hall how to enroll people into health coverage.

Instead, he couldn't even create an account to begin the process.

"And it's supposed to pull up a list of security questions and you would answer three of them. And it didn't pull up the list of questions," Childers says. "So we couldn't answer the questions because we didn't know what they were."

Local health navigators were telling people to call the health program's toll-free number until it, too, crashed.

"We're advising customers to set up appointments so that we can help them on the website later," says health navigator Sandra Toomer of the Curtis Cooper Health Clinic in Savannah.

Similar problems were reported nationwide.

This includes state-run exchanges.

Georgia's is run by the federal government.

Federal officials said once it's fixed, the site will stay active despite the government shutdown.

Childers says he believes the glitches will be fixed.

"I would hope that before the first of January that people would be able to enroll in coverage," Childers says.

Coverage doesn't start until the new year.