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11:57 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Still No Obamacare Website for State's Spanish Speakers

From left, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Lt. Gov Nancy Wyman, Kevin Counihan, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
From left, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Lt. Gov Nancy Wyman, Kevin Counihan, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The Spanish-language website that will enroll state residents in Obamacare is still facing delays. In fact, officials say it could be another two weeks until it is operational. 

The goal was December. Now, it looks as though it may not be functional until early March.

The original goal was to have the site go live at the same time as the English language site on October 1. That didn't happen. Then, the goal was December. Now, it looks as though it may not be functional until early March. Open enrollment ends March 31.

Kevin Counihan, CEO of Access Health CT -- the state-run exchange -- said, "It's not something we're happy about, but it's reality." He added that he and his staff didn't understand just how complicated setting up the site would be. "I was naive enough to think that's what it was -- that, basically, it's like taking a book in English, converting it to Spanish, and what's the problem?" he said. "It turns out that it's recreating a new website, so it's actually building a brand new site."

Counihan can't quantify the effect the delay has had on enrollment for Spanish speakers. But he knows it means some people haven't gotten the insurance coverage they want. That said, Counihan said there is a call center for those who speak languages other than English and who want to enroll.