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Consumers testing Healthcare.gov

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The Secretary of Health and Human Services told Congress Monday that Healthcare.gov is working faster and better than before.

But are consumers seeing those improvements, when they try to use the site to buy health insurance?  

Colleen Cutlip of Waxhaw doesn't have health insurance.

"I was hoping to get signed up today and be done with it," said Cutlip.

Dozens of people like Cutlip dropped-in on Novant Health's community event in Charlotte to pair consumers with health insurance brokers.

"It has gotten better," said Mike Brincefield, a health insurance broker with Carolina Health Insurance Market, "I was in this morning and got further then I was ever able to get.  Hopefully, we can get you in here and get you signed up at least with an account, work on a quote."

Mike Brincefield shows Cutlip her options.  And she brought a list of plans her doctor office said it'll accept.

"That's the first one," said Brincefield.  "That's the most expensive," said Cutlip.

At another computer LIz Horgan points to the screen and said, "I like that number way better than I like that number." 

Horgan is also going through the process.

"I already have Blue Cross Blue Shield.  I got my letter saying it's going up 200 + percent," she said.

Horgan's insurance will change and she wants answers.  She'll be buying later.

"I'm waiting until the kinks get worked out," said Horgan. 

But Cutlip tried.

 "Am I going to be able to do any of that today?" 

Brincefield fills out the security questions and clicks.  

"Can't be created at this time," Brincefield reads from the screen. 

"I found one under Coventry that I can afford, but we just can't get signed up yet," explained Cutlip. 

Cutlip figured out her subsidy and a plan that's in her budget.  Now, she'll have to wait. But, if the website works, people can get health insurance.  It's just hit or miss.

"We've seen people successfully go all the way to sitting down with a broker and selecting a plan," said Arlene Ferebee.  

Cutlip said she'll try again by visiting Brincefield at his office or over the phone.

"They said by the end of November they would have this thing fixed," said Brincefield, "We'll see. But it is better. I can say that." 

Novant Health said there is another community outreach for people to sign up for healthcare next Thursday at the Salisbury Civic Center from 3 to 7 pm.

The President's administration still hasn't said how many people have been able to buy health insurance from healthcare.gov.

It says those numbers will be released next week, but a House committee has issued a subpoena to get them by the end of this week.

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