BRISTOL, Tenn. - People all across the country spent the day signing up for insurance through the new marketplace as a part of the Affordable Care Act. Tuesday was the first day to sign up and the website was flooded with people trying to get an insurance plan.
Many people in our area received a 'please wait' message when they tried to sign up for insurance through the marketplace. "There is going to be a lot of problems the first couple of weeks with the website. There's going to be a lot of people in the country that are trying to get insurance," says insurance agent Eric Cuddy.
One of those people trying to sign up for insurance is Fina Mendes, who tells us she's concerned the process will be difficult. "It's very confusing. I'm not sure if I'm going to qualify or not qualify," adds Mendes.
There are a lot of things you'll need to sign up. First, an email address and password that is difficult to figure out. "The password has to be a certain number of letters followed by a number followed by an exclamation point or something like that," says Cuddy.
Cuddy tells us you'll need to know the number of people in your house and the total household income. "The income is for the entire household so that's husband, wife, and if you have any children working making money from a job," adds Cuddy.
Cuddy tells us the insurance plans aren't much different than the individual health market in place now. "It's just now it's based on your individual age and if you smoke or not," says Cuddy.
Cuddy tells us the new insurance plans will benefit people who may have a pre-existing condition or elderly people. "50 and above for age, the rates are going to be pretty good. The lower age the rates are going to be a little high but there will be something there for everyone," adds Cuddy.
Meanwhile, Mendes tells us she's hoping for the best. "I'm just going to go back on the website and fill out what I can find, and see what happens and go from there," says Mendes.
Cuddy says there will be several different plans people will be able to choose from. He says they can be confusing so he encourages everyone to look through them carefully or if you need help to understand contact an insurance agent.
You have until December 15 to sign up for insurance if you want coverage starting January 1. You have until the end of March to sign up to avoid a tax penalty.
We also learned once you're signed up, you do not have fill the information out again unless you want to change your plan.
One thing Cuddy wants to stress to people -- if you are enrolled in Medicare, this doesn't affect you and you don't need one of these plans.
If you need more information you can go to the Marketplace website click here for a link.