“You can now open your own personal "Obamacare" account — but you'll have to wait awhile before you can actually use it to pick a health insurance plan.
Just eight weeks before the Oct. 1 launch of open enrollment under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law, administration officials announced Monday that the Affordable Care Act is a step closer to reality for millions of uninsured Americans.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said consumers can now go online to healthcare.gov and create personal accounts by establishing a username and password.
However, serious shopping will have to wait until sometime in September, when details on insurance plans and premiums offered in local areas will become available through the new online marketplace.
While Monday's announcement may sound like partial progress only, Sebelius quickly moved to put the law's doubters on notice. "Let me be clear," she said. "We are on target and ready to flip the switch on Oct. 1."
The congressional Government Accountability Office and Treasury's inspector general for the Internal Revenue Service have been among the nonpartisan oversight organizations warning of possible delays with the rollout of the law.
The new personal account feature unveiled Monday will be available just in English for the time being. HHS said personal accounts will be coming soon to the Spanish-language marketplace, at cuidadodesalud.gov.” - Personal 'Obamacare' accounts debut, AP, 08/05/2013
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