Affordable Care Act open to public for the first time - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

The centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act, healthcare exchanges, open to public for the first time

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WASHINGTON (NBC) -
Open enrollment for Obamacare begins Tuesday even as republicans try to stop the health care law.

Online insurance marketplaces officially opened around the country for the millions of uninsured Americans.
 
Tuesday's roll out hasn't been perfect, but the White House says the initial demand for insurance is even greater than they anticipated.
 
At one New York call center, staff fielded an array of questions.
 
In Washington, D.C., people waited for in-person help enrolling for Obamacare until the website stopped working.  The federally run online marketplace blamed heavy traffic when it began posting error messages.  Maryland's state run exchange delayed its debut until noon.
 
President Obama called the glitches temporary.

"We are going to be speeding things up in the next couple hours to handle all this demand that exceeds anything we expected," said Mr. Obama

Nate Hojnacki is among those seeking insurance.

His part time job doesn't offer care.

"Having a family history of lymphoma I think it would be a wise idea to be covered God forbid anything should happen," said Hojnacki. 
 
But as the exchanges opened, an NBC Kaiser survey found that 49% of the public is confused by the health care law.

"The word is going to get out about what is available, but I still think there's going to be a need to be a full force effort to educate the people about these changes," said Jennifer Tolbert, Director of State Health Reform at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Applicants must enroll by December 15 to be covered starting January 1.

But they have until the end of March to sign up for healthcare and avoid tax penalties.

Today President Obama said that even before 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, more than one million people had visited the Healthcare.Gov website.

And it's been very busy at Siouxland Community Health in Sioux City.   
To talk more about that, Certified Application Counselor, Betsy Arce, joined KTIV News 4.

If you have more questions about the Affordable Care Act, we have a special page dedicated to answering them.
You'll find it under the health tab on ktiv.com called Affordable Care Act Answers.
It features a special NBC tool that helps you understand the legislation.

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