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Oct 1, 2013 8:28 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Arizonans face glitches with health insurance exchanges

TUCSON - As the new health insurance marketplace made its debut, it wasn't without a few glitches.

The online marketplace operated by the federal website Healthcare.gov was not affected by the federal government shutdown but some technical hiccups made for a frustrating day for some Arizonans.

Ron Ireland has worked all day, waiting in hopes of finding more affordable health insurance for him and his wife Mary.

"We're both over 60 years old but not old enough to be on Medicare," Ron said.

Mary suffers from a neurological disorder called Transverse Myelitis, so right now the couple is paying $2,000 a month for health care coverage - that's a third of their living expenses.

"We have a lot of anticipation that our costs are going to go down, " Ron told News 4 Tucson.

The problem is that the federal website for exploring the new health insurance marketplace has been near impossible for Ron to access.

"Right as of this moment, I'm still trying to get a sign-on ID and I can't even get through the system," he said.

However, the website glitches aren't the only worry on his mind.

"More importantly, my biggest concern is that the quality of healthcare and services are still good," Ron said.

That's a viable question - as more than 1 million uninsured Arizonans could add to the demand and strain on medical services.

"It's not the only thing to get people health insurance coverage, we're going to have to make sure that our health system can see the people and provide the health services they need," said Daniel Derksen, M.D., of the University of Arizona's College of Public Health.

For now, Ron will try and try again until he can find that much needed financial relief.

"Being able to reduce that cost is extremely important to us," Ron said.

If you have had similar problems with Healthcare.gov - there is no need to worry right away because open enrollment for the exchanges will remain open until March 31st.

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