You've probably heard of the problems with the federal health insurance exchange website. If that's discouraged you from enrolling, local health care officials say it shouldn't. As our Katie Gibas reports, the New York State exchange hasn't had many issues and most of the bugs have been worked out.
NEW YORK STATE -- Health insurance can be pretty overwhelming, especially since there have been so many problems with the federal insurance exchange, healthcare.gov.
"It seems like all the stuff we see about the Affordable Health Care Act and signing up for health care seems to be being presented as a disaster and it's not a disaster in New York State," said Michael Crinning, the Executive Director is ARC Health .
In fact, there have been very few issues with the New York State Insurance exchange, NYStateofHealth.ny.gov.
"There had been a couple problems of verifying identity. We'd get to a certain point and we couldn't verify somebody's county. But simple things like that. And we have a help line that we can call to override those issues. So no, we haven't had those kinds of issues that the federal site has," said Steve Wood, the ARC Health Community Health Coordinator.
But if you're still feeling overwhelmed by the process or don't have a computer, there are plenty of people to help. Every county in New York has several community navigators who have undergone extensive training to set you up with health insurance.
"What makes navigators valuable is we know the system. We can do this quickly and efficiently for you. But we also know the plans. We know how to apply subsidies and federal cost-sharing, the tax credits," said Wood.
At Access Care and Resources, or ARC Health, they've already enrolled 100 people and have appointments set up for another 150. Appointments are usually between 30 minutes and an hour.
And don't forget, the deadline to enroll in coverage or face a penalty is March 31st. If you enroll before January, your coverage will start at the new year. If you sign up after that, your coverage will start at the beginning of the next month.