When Montanans encounter trouble accessing the new health insurance marketplace via the website www.healthcare.gov, they call the State of Montana Commissioner of Insurance for help.

 

Jesse Laslovich is the chief legal counsel for the insurance commissioner's office, and in a Friday, October 18 interview, he said that he is just as confused and disappointed in the website as those who are calling for help.

"It's very, very frustrating," Laslovich said. "We're trying to help people who call us for help, and I've personally tried to walk through the website, and I've encountered the same problems as everyone else who's tried to access the site. That's very disappointing and frustrating."

With the deadline of December 15 looming for individuals to sign up for a new healthcare plan, Laslovich said the Department of Health and Human Services is facing a huge problem.

"That's an interesting question regarding the December 15 deadline," Laslovich said. "We've been in contact with Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. on a daily basis, asking about the status of the website and what we can tell the Montanans who call our office looking for help, and frankly, I don't know what they're going to do. I've told people we have until December 15, so we have to be patient. It's been three weeks now, and people still can't get through."

Laslovich puts the onus on the federal government to solve this problem, and quickly.

"I don't know the answer to the question, other than that the Health and Human Services Department HAS to make this work, they just simply have to do it," Laslovich said. " It has to be done right away, and if it doesn't, then there will be major problems."

Laslovich said Montana consumers may find small comfort in knowing that even state officials are having trouble accessing the system.

"People just need to know, we're in the same boat," Laslovich said. "We're equally just as frustrated and disappointed that it's not working and we're doing everything we can to make this work. We're traveling all over the state to inform people about the requirements of this new law. Right or wrong, that's what the new law is, and it's really frustrating when it's out of our control, but we're doing our best."

Legal Counsel for the Commissioner of Insurance Jesse Laslovich