Quiet start in Florida for new health reform

4:37 PM, Jan 3, 2014   |    comments
Screenshot of HealthCare.gov on October 30, 2013
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MIAMI (AP) - More than 18,000 Floridians who signed up for health insurance under so-called Obamacare are finally starting to use their coverage.

Coverage went into effect Wednesday, marking the most personal test yet for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul as patients begin to seek care, shifting the burden for implementing the law to insurance companies and health care providers.

But a surge in late applications trying to meet the Dec. 23 deadline has overloaded government agencies, creating stacks of yet-to-be-processed paperwork of people unsure about whether they have insurance.

Insurers complained they were receiving thousands of faulty applications from the government. That means early in the year, insured patients could go for a medication refill - or turn up in the emergency room - only to be told there is no record of their coverage.

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