People with knowledge about the Affordable Care Act were providing answers to general questions at a special program at the Community Health of South Florida center in Cutler Bay Tuesday.
"Everybody's going crazy looking for health insurance," said Shelly Armand of Miami.
Akeemia Riley is a certified application counselor but she has yet to be able to help a single person apply for the new health care coverage.
"Yes, I'm trying to enroll in (the) Obama health care plan," said Valerie Carr of Kendall.
Asked what happened, she said, "Actually the system is kind of down so they're supposed to be contacting me. So hopefully I can get some health insurance."
Meantime, the government shutdown – which is also now in its second day – prevented a federal official from coming to the Cutler Bay center.
The call center for the Health Insurance Marketplace, the government-run website set up under the Affordable Care Act, has gotten more than 190,000 calls. Riley said the people answering the call center number use the same computer system that's not working in Cutler Bay.
What about applying the old-fashioned way – on paper?
"They told us they can have an application mailed to us and then once we get that application we can mail it back," said Riley after she spoke to someone at the call center.
HealthCare.Gov tweeted that 4.7 million unique visitors have gone to the website.
Its Twitter page is full of replies to people complaining about the computer glitches.
There is also some confusion about the deadline to sign up.
"By January 1st, by law should have insurance on my family or there’s going be a fine or something like that," said Theresa Carter of Miami.
People have until March 31 to buy insurance without a penalty.
The federal government has released the cost of premiums for plans by state and county. To see them, click here.
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