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First Day of the Federal Health Care Marketplace Slow for Ohioans

WYSO/Lewis Wallace

The federal health care marketplace, a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, opened for business Tuesday even in the midst of a government shutdown. But for groups doing outreach in Dayton, the first day was a slow one.

A crew of outreach workers stood around next to colorful tables in the parking lot of a health center Tuesday, chatting up passers-by and waiting for a mostly-absent news media to stop by.

Enroll America, which is an independent non-profit, has hundreds of volunteers across the state working with food banks, libraries and volunteer groups to reach the uninsured.

Open enrollment  for the first year of coverage on the marketplace lasts through March 31, 2014, and the first few days aren’t likely to make or break the program. But it doesn’t help that the website has been glitchy since minutes after the launch, or that the federal navigator program still isn’t up and running in Ohio. Most of the outreach is coming from community groups and insurance companies.

A majority of Ohio’s 1.5 million uninsured will be required to get health plans under the new law.

Find out more about how it works here.

WYSO wants to hear about your experience with the health care marketplace, good, bad or ugly. Tweet at us @wyso, find us on Facebook or call our listener line at (937) 769-1374.