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Glitches Reported As Health Care Exchanges Open08:19
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Some people are reporting problems trying to access health exchanges via HealthCare.gov. Here's the message a Here & Now producer got (click to enlarge). (Here & Now screenshot)
Some people are reporting problems trying to access health exchanges via HealthCare.gov. Here's the message a Here & Now producer got (click to enlarge). (Here & Now screenshot)

Despite the government shutdown, the insurance exchanges at the heart of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, open for business today.

The insurance marketplaces, accessible online or — depending on the state — at clinics and via telephone, ask that people sign up for a plan by December 15th.

But how easy is it to figure it all out? From the Here & Now Contributor Network, Elana Gordon of WHYY in Philadelphia drops by an area clinic to take a closer look.

Those who won't be going in to discuss their health insurance options in person will be going on HealthCare.gov to search for their options.

The vast online insurance marketplaces will allow participants to find the exchange offered in their state, check eligibility, sign up for coverage and calculate subsidies.

NPR's Elise Hu joins us to explain the challenges to such a large technological undertaking.

Guest

  • Elana Gordon, health and science reporter for WHYY in Philadelphia. She tweets @Elana_Gordon.
  • Elise Hu, lead blogger for NPR's All Tech Considered. She tweets @elisewho.

This segment aired on October 1, 2013.

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