New health insurance website open for business

When the government backed health insurance marketplace opened Tuesday morning, people like Romeda Smith were ready to enroll.

“Everybody needs this insurance and its coverage for their health.  A lot of people are dying because they can’t get their medication,” she said.

People can shop for health insurance on their own or online at healthcare.gov or get advice from a professional insurance agent like Maria Townsend.

“I find it remarkable that we are getting a lot of people that were not able to get health insurance before because of a pre-existing condition. We can help out with that,” she said.

But on the first day of enrollment, getting health insurance has not been easy.

Healthcare.gov is overloaded and very slow to respond, though officials say the slow downs are temporary.

Since the site is sluggish, patient navigator William Dixon is delaying health insurance applications.

“Because the site has been slow, I prefer to wait ’til tomorrow before I take an application from anybody,” Dixon said.

You have until December 15 to enroll if you want your health coverage to begin on January 1, 2014.

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