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65 days into the Affordable Care Act

SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – We are now 65 days into the launch of the government's health care website, where individuals can find insurance options under the Affordable Care Act.
SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – We are now 65 days into the launch of the government's health care website, where individuals can find insurance options under the Affordable Care Act.

From the botched rollout of healthcare.gov to the President’s declaration the site is now working smoothly, Utahns are talking about their experience.

It was a business decision when Phil Sherburne opted to drop the health insurance policy for his frame shop, Signed and Numbered at 2320 S. West Temple.

"We didn't have the money to pay for everything," said Sherburne.

He knew it was a gamble and sure enough he ended up with an injury.

"The insurance company wouldn't take me back, because that was a preexisting condition," said Sherburne.

That's why he turned to the open market place at healthcare.gov.

At first he had nothing but trouble, until one Saturday morning he finally got through.

"The plan I chose was $123 a month, for our family. A lot of that is tax credits, because the plan is an $860 plan," said Sherburne.

He shared his story Thursday at a conference hosted by Utah Health Policy Project.

They focused on early returns in Utah, challenges with the website over the first 65 days and solutions.

This week the White House announced the site can now handle 50,000 users at one time and up to 800,000 a day.

Local experts insist they are seeing a difference.

"We have more people coming into our office, signing up for insurance within an hour, walking out with a big smile on their face, where previously, in October and November that wasn't happening," said Jason Stevenson with Utah Health Policy Project.

For Sherburne it happened, he is one of only 357 Utahns on record who have signed up for insurance.

"Huge relief for our family, for our business," said Sherburne.

Stevenson believes the number of Utahns who have signed up has grown significantly since the last count.

Updated numbers should be available in the next few weeks.

Due to all the website problems the deadline to have insurance plans kick in on January 1, 2014 has been extended from December 15, 2013 to December 23, 2013.

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