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How To Sign Up For "Obamacare"
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- October first was the first time people could sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The problem was, it was nearly impossible to get on the website: healthcare.gov. Registration on the site was unavailable for hours.
If you plan to buy health insurance through these new online exchanges, here's what you can expect.
First you need to set up an account. Choose the state where you live and click "Apply Now." For hours on Tuesday, the site was asking visitors to wait because of overwhelming demand.
Once you're in, you're directed to a series of pages asking for your name, email address, user name and password. Before your account is officially set up, you'll be asked to create several security questions.
That's where problems arose again. Visitors on Tuesday weren't able to get past that page. It remained frozen for hours, barring most people from registering.
Experts say this is because a large portion of the 48 million people without healthcare were also trying to sign up Tuesday.
"I don't think they anticipated how much traffic they would get. This is just a little hiccup. The important thing is today millions of people had access to healthcare that they didn't yesterday," said social welfare expert Dr. Shawm Kassiman.
According to President Barack Obama, buying insurance through these new online exchanges should be as easy as booking a plane ticket.
There are four choices of healthcare, ranging from the cheapest and most basic called the Bronze plan, up to the most expensive, or Platinum, plan.
They all offer varying levels of coverage, and come with a monthly premium. However, the deductibles and co-pays are different. And not just anyone is eligible.
"Anybody who's not able to be covered under employers. More than 60 percent of folks are covered through employers. But if you're paying a lot for that, you may be able to get a better deal through the Affordable Care Act," said Kassiman.
If you do not have healthcare, you have until March 14, 2014, to sign up through the Affordable Care Act, or buy a plan through a private insurance company.
After that date, folks who do not have some form of health insurance will be charged a penalty.
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