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Affordable Care Act: Delays bite consumers during rollout

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Much of the nation experienced problems with healthcare.gov on day one of the rollout, and Arizona was no exception.

CBS 5 News spoke with Arizona Navigators, agencies charged with helping consumers understand their options on healthcare.gov, they listed a number of problems for consumers trying to access the site:

* The website is moving very slowly during the initial process to create an account.
* Many are not able to get past the page where they set up their username and password.
* Many are seeing pages appear like "health insurance marketplace PLEASE WAIT which is stalling the process.
* The site is asking patience, and says that lots of visitors are at healthcare.gov today.

The Director for healthcare.gov for Arizona, Herb K. Schultz is also preaching patience.

"With any big technological transformation, there are going to be glitches, there are going to be some issues, but we have people working round the clock, to address those glitches, and many of them are, and have been rectified already," Schultz said.

Here are the day one numbers for healthcare.gov according to Schultz:

* 2.8 million visitors to the site nationwide
* Individual numbers for Arizona are not yet available.
* Just over 80,000 people across the country used the 24-hour toll-free customer service hotline.
* 60,000 people nationwide initiated online chats with customer service reps at healthcare.gov.
* Many people, including those in Arizona, were able to compare and purchase plans on the marketplace today.

Patience is really the key here. There is no need to panic, the process for enrollment in healthcare is just getting started. Consumers should know they have plenty of time. If you want your coverage to start on Jan. 1, you have until Dec. 15 to sign up. The final deadline for enrollment is March 31, 2014.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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