Iowa officials say a state website that people can use to apply for health insurance is working again.
The state Department of Human Services says the website, dhsservices.iowa.gov, for Medicaid eligibility became available again Saturday night. It was down earlier for scheduled maintenance.
The issue affects Iowans who tried to apply for insurance through the federal hub and were told they might qualify for Medicaid. DHS sent emails and letters to nearly 16,000 Iowans to tell them a delay in paperwork on the federal level meant they should use the state website and there was no guarantee of coverage on January 1st. If a person needs to see a health care provider in the interim, there's no guarantee of coverage.
DHS spokeswoman Amy Lorentzen McCoy says an alternative call center number will be available during the week.
Meanwhile, the Obama administration says a December surge has propelled health insurance sign-ups through the federal government's website past the one million mark.
Independent experts say when numbers for state-run markets are reported, the combined enrollment should total about two million people. That would be about two-thirds of the administration's original goal of signing up 3.3 million by December 31st.
The numbers represent a significant improvement given the technical problems that crippled the federal market during much of the fall. The overall goal remains to enroll seven million people by March 31st.
That's prompted Congressman Darrell Issa to concede, "Obamacare is a reality." The California Republican has been a prominent opponent of the president's signature health care law. Appearing Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press," Issa predicted that the program's subsidies would lead middle class people to look at health care in "a Third World way" and pile on costs.