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Signing up for Obamacare: ‘Waiting for Obamacare to kick in.’

The Affordable Care Act's new insurance marketplaces opened Tuesday morning, where individuals can shop for individual health insurance coverage. Throughout the day, we'll be talking to people about their experiences trying to sign up on day one. 

Lori Futcher hit a glitch Tuesday morning when she tried to enroll on Tennessee's new insurance marketplace. But she was actually excited to see the error message: It said that too many people were trying to use the site, and she would need to wait a little longer.

"My reaction was like 'yay, a lot of people want coverage!'" Futcher, a 42-year-old mother who was trying to buy coverage for her husband, said. "There are lots of other people like me are getting going on day one."

Futcher has insurance coverage through Medicare due to a disability that makes it too difficult for her to work. Her children, after going uninsured for six months, qualified for coverage on the Children's Health Insurance Program, which serves low and middle income kids.

She was hoping to buy coverage for her husband, who is self-employed and has been without insurance coverage since March.

"Our insurance ended when I stopped working," Futcher says. "One of the hardest parts of being uninsured, for me as a parent, was I didn't feel like I was taking care of my kids. We've kind of been waiting for Obamacare to kick in."

Futcher knew that coverage under the Affordable Care Act didn't kick in until January and initially planned to wait a little bit to sign up. But after watching the federal government shutdown over the health law, she felt that signing up early would send a message to Republicans attempting to repeal the law.

"Originally it was only on my list of things to do by the end of the year," she says. "Seeing so many people sign up would hopefully show Republicans this is something the country needs."

As we spoke on the phone, Futcher kept an eye on her computer screen. It flipped from the message telling her she would have to wait -- to one that would let her log in to the system.

"Oh this is great!" Futcher exclaimed, before getting started on the enrollment process.



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Lydia DePillis · October 1, 2013

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