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10/01/2013

Hurry up and wait for Texas health insurance exchange

Update: Oct. 2, 3:05 p.m.

It is possible to register on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Here is living proof:

Success
Update: Oct. 2, 2 p.m.

We got a little farther trying to register at the Health Insurance Marketplace, a.k.a. "the exchange." It accepted our user name, password and three security questions, then promised to email a confirmation. The confirmation quickly showed up in our inbox, and we clicked on it within 5 seconds of its arrival. But was that fast enough? Noooooooooooooooooo.

Oops2
Here's where the original post begins.

Marketplace wait
Here's what you'll probably get if you go to www.heathcare.gov, the official site of the Health Insurance Marketplace, also called the exchange. We did manage to get through to a sign-up page once, but our browser froze before we could finishing creating an account. The next time,

Marketplace not yet
when, we did get all the way through the process, we got the screen above. In fact, we ended up here several times. It's not just us. Here's a link to an Associated Press story on the launch.

But keep in mind that today is just the first day of a six-month process to use the online exchange to find health insurance policies that include a shot at tax credits to reduce the cost of the policies. You can also call 1-800-318-2596. In any event,  coverage purchased through the exchange doesn't go into effect until Jan. 1. The open enrollment period extends through March 31, and you can enroll after that in the event of significant changes in your situation, such as losing a job and your health benefits. 

-- Jim Fuquay

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