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NY Health Exchange Has Smooth Start, Despite Federal Exchange Problems

While technical problems have plagued the federal government’s online insurance marketplace, New York’s version appears to be running smoothly.

Problems with the federal exchange website even prompted a response from President Barack Obama on Monday.

“Healthcare.gov, the new website where people can apply for health insurance, and browse and buy affordable plans in most states, hasn’t worked as smoothly as it was supposed to work,” Obama said.

But, aside from a few technical glitches after its Oct. 1 launch, New York’s exchange is operating free of significant troubles. Executive director of the state online marketplace Donna Frescatore says that’s because New York chose to run its own online market meaning problems on the federal exchange don’t affect state residents.  

Already 150,000 New Yorkers have signed up for health insurance. Under the law, most Americans must get health insurance coverage or pay a penalty.