New Year Brings New Healthcare To Nearly 2 Million Americans - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

New Year Brings New Healthcare To Nearly 2 Million Americans

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The celebration continues for some Americans who welcomed 2014 with a new health insurance plan. The latest step in the Affordable Care Act means nearly 2 million people now have coverage.

Jason Luntz owns his own social media consulting business, but at age 39 he has lived without health insurance basically his whole career. Like many Americans, he's dealt with the fear of if something happened.

"There have been many times when I've considered going the actual corporate route just because of the benefits," he said. "Sometimes when I felt I should go to the doctor I would ignore it as long as I could because I didn't want to pay. So it's actually a great thing now to have that confidence."

Wednesday marked the first time Luntz has had health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. The Obama administration said roughly 2 million people have signed up so far.

"December was great in terms of people wanting to be covered and also in terms of our website being able to handle the traffic and being able to actually enroll people," White House Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri told CBS News.

The government's website, HealthCare.gov, has been plagued with problems since its launch, but enrollment numbers are still well behind where they should be. There have also been reports of some people getting dropped from old plans, and having to fork out a lot more for new ones that meet the law's basic requirements.

For those who are getting through, experts said it's important to get an enrollment confirmation from the insurance company you choose.

"People who went to the exchange, they think they have coverage, they think they are enrolled. They go to the doctor, rack up a bill and find out they didn't have the insurance they thought they had," said Alyene Senger with The Heritage Foundation.

The next hurdle is to make sure enrollees pay their initial premium as soon as possible to avoid coverage interruptions.

By using a tax credit Luntz is only paying $85 per month, which is a fraction of the quotes he used to receive. That means he can live the American dream knowing he doesn't have worry about how he'll pay if he gets sick.

"Now people can make decision based on what they really want to do with their lives," Luntz said.

Late Tuesday night Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily blocked part of the law that would require some religious-affiliated organizations to provide health insurance that include birth control.

Government officials now have until 10 a.m. Eastern Friday to respond.

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