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Enroll Alaska Faces Uphill Battle Leading to Signup Deadline

Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:20:47 PM AKST
Updated On: Dec 14 2013 05:24:26 PM AKST
ANCHORAGE -

Enroll Alaska faces an uphill battle in the final days leading to a Dec. 23 deadline.

That is the last day people can sign up through the new federal marketplace created by Obamacare for a healthcare insurance policy that takes effect on New Year’s Day.

In part because of lingering technical problems with the signup website, Healthcare.gov, just 400 Alaskans have signed up for plans.

"In October, it was non-functional, the website didn't work," said Tyann Boling, chief operating officer of Enroll Alaska. "Now business is getting much better."

Boling attended a Saturday event at Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium in Anchorage, aimed at getting people signed up for coverage.

Even though many of the technical problems have been solved, the event was still sparsely attended.

When KTUU stopped by, only workers were in attendance.

Boling said Enroll Alaska, a subsidy of Northrim Bank, said it hopes President Barack Obama will extend the open enrollment period to compensate for time lost.

The group said its goal is to reach 15,000 enrollees in the nine days before the deadline.

"Our phones are ringing, the demand is there," Boling said. “We need the time, though, and we really need the administration to extend open enrollment so we have the time to get individuals enrolled.”