4,000 New Mexicans sign up for affordable healthcare

Updated: 12/02/2013 5:22 PM | Created: 12/02/2013 3:19 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Just over 4,000 New Mexicans have signed up for affordable healthcare through the federal website but only about 170 have picked a plan.

To get those numbers up, some local health centers are spending hours, walking people through the application process.

For the past couple of months, Ana Quiroz has been trying to help New Mexicans sign up for affordable healthcare.

It's been difficult. For one, the federal website where people can sign up hasn't been working. "This morning we tried to get in still and it did not work for us," said Quiroz.

The demand for help just keeps getting higher. But there's not enough certified healthcare guides to help out.

At First Choice Community Healthcare where Ana works, there are only five other certified people answering the hundreds of phone calls every day. "Now we are seeing how can we be faster and set our schedules in the best way and become, you know, the best and most efficient enrollers," said Quiroz.

A small number of people helping but, Ana said, at least it's something. Right now in New Mexico, 4,055 people have completed their application for coverage. But only 172 picked their health plan.

Ana believes if money wasn't an issue and she was able to hire more guides, the enrollment numbers would be much higher.

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