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Confusion, relief mark start of new health reforms

SFGate.com / Associated Press, January 3, 2014

The new year brought relief for Americans who previously had no health insurance or were stuck in poor plans, but it also led to confusion after the troubled rollout of the federal health care reforms sent a crush of late applications to overloaded government agencies. That created stacks of yet-to-be-processed paperwork and thousands — if not millions — of people unsure about whether they have insurance. Mike Estes of Beaverton, Ore., finally received his insurance card on Dec. 27 after applying in early November. Still, the family was thrilled to have insurance through the Oregon Health Plan, Oregon's version of Medicaid, because their previous $380-a-month premium "literally crushed our family's finances," Estes said.