Idaho health exchange says deadline demanded 'Herculean effort' by staff

adutton@idahostatesman.comApril 1, 2014 

Idaho's marketplace for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act received a record-breaking number of calls during the last day of open enrollment.

There were 1,096 phone calls to Your Health Idaho from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, said spokeswoman Jody Olson. That was more than double the number of calls the exchange received on its first day of open enrollment.

Six employees at the state-exchange call center took about 150 calls per person, and the average call took a little over two minutes to answer, Olson said.

"It was a Herculean effort on their part, and they did a great job," she said.

The website, yourhealthidaho.org, had 6,846 unique visitors. Idahoans don't actually enroll for plans through that website — instead, they enroll through the federal healthcare.gov website — so Your Health Idaho does not yet have enrollment numbers. Those are expected to come out later this month.

Olson added that consumers who can show they made a good-faith effort to enroll before the March 31 deadline, but for some reason were unable to, can still enroll in health plans. But don't wait too long to finish your application. "We don't know how long healthcare.gov will allow this," she said.

Audrey Dutton: 377-6448, @IDS_Audrey

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