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Reports hint at pent-up exchange plan demand

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Some insurers, enrollment organizations and exchange managers say enrollment system glitches are holding back strong demand for coverage.

But as soon as those glitches get fixed — which is slowing happening — enrollment should surge, they predict.

Mike Reitz, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, said that the carrier has received few complete applications, but he said he had heard that independent agents and Louisiana Blue agents were “holding hundreds of submissions in queues, awaiting the opportunity to submit them electronically” once the Web-based enrollment system is working better.

Similarly, in Alaska, an exchange enrollment organization, Enroll Alaska, said it has a “large backlog” of exchange plan applicants to help.

The federal exchange system and enrollment sites for some state-based exchanges, like NY State of Health, has continued to subject users to crashes and long delays. But things looked better today, running more smoothly than they were on Wednesday or Thursday, or on Tuesday, their launch day.

Twelve of the 15 state-based exchanges tested around 4 p.m. EDT this afternoon seemed to be working smoothly, and a 13th worked smoothly when it came online a few minutes later.

Managers of the Maryland Health Connection exchange site told the Associated Press that users created about 1,000 accounts within just a few hours after technicians fixed a glitch that was slowing that site down.

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