Lois Josimovich remembers last year's rocky launch of Massachusetts' Health Connector website.
It presented her agency MAPS, the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers, from efficiently helping those who came in to the Cambridge office to sign up for health insurance. MAPS is one of a handful of Navigator Programs contracted by the state that help people buy insurance under the new plan.
"Last year I think all of the agencies who were helping people were having a lot of trouble because of the difficulties with the website," she said.
So when the new website launched Saturday, there was a noticeable change.
"Oh, they were very happy and you know, they thanked us so much and they said how wonderful their experience was compared to before," Josimoich said.
The eight people who successfully signed up at the MAPS office are part of the 12,000 individuals and families state wide who have been determined "eligible" for Health Insurance under the Affordable Care Act since Saturday; 7,000 qualified for Health Connector plans while 5,000 enrolled in Massachusetts Health.
In total, the exchange attracted 57,208 visitors, and 137 have already paid their first bill.
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Maydad Cohen, Governor Patrick's Special Assistant for Project Delivery, said the website was stable, reliable and did exactly what it was built to do.
However, the system was not completely without glitches. There were some initial wait times into the call centers and some customers had to create new user names and passwords, but the problems paled in comparison to last year, when many couldn't even access the system.