Spike in website traffic for NV Health Insurance Exchange

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Spike in website traffic for NV Health Insurance Exchange

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Members of the Reno Sparks Chamber of Commerce came together on Wednesday to learn more about how the Affordable Care Act could impact them.

Nevada's health insurance exchange is seeing a surge in activity as a deadline draws near for people to buy insurance for coverage.

There have been over 5 million hits to the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange website, www.nevadahealthink.com, since it went live in October. About a fifth of those have been in the past week. Still, only about 6,600 people have selected plans, and, of that, only about a third have actually paid in full at this time.

CJ Bawden, who's with the state exchange, says many people won't pay until right before the December 23rd deadline for coverage beginning January 1st; even after that, people can enroll anytime before the end of March 2014, after which penalties will take effect.

Bawden says it's like taxes.

"When people file their taxes, we still have 20 percent or more of the population filing at the very last minute, so we believe that there's going to be a very large number of enrollees."

The exchange has an enrollment target of 118,000 by the end of March. Aside from being a bit slow due to high traffic, Bawden says the site has been working well and they still hope to reach that goal.

According to statistics released Wednesday by the federal government, 28,500 people who used Nevada's exchange were found eligible for Medicaid or another program that provides insurance for low-income children. Bawden says those people are not included in the enrollment statistics.