TODAY   |  October 02, 2013

Health care exchange website crashes with heavy traffic

The federal marketplace website for the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act crashed for several hours Tuesday as heavy traffic loaded up its servers. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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>> as chuck mentioned the shutdown is all about a fight over the new health care law . uninsured americans can sign up for health care coverage. the first 24 hours were a bit rocky though. tom costello is in silver spring , maryland. good morning.

>> good morning. 15% of the patients in this er don't have insurance so this hospital supports the health care law but the website crashed and state websites struggled but they simply didn't expect the volume they had this early in the sign up process.

>> reporter: from east coast to west, health insurance is now a possibility for tens of millions of uninsured americans but the start of obama care has not been without glitches. many people unable to log on and sign up.

>> too many people accessing it right now.

>> reporter: the white house says within the first few hours millions tried to log on to health care .gov. most met glitches and gridlock.

>> i keep getting this error page.

>> she tried enrolling but the system wasn't budging so she called customer service . 15 minutes into this car. this is the second call. almost 20 minutes on the phone now. we started about 35 minutes ago.

>> reporter: many republicans said they weren't surprised.

>> from reports around the country it seems that obama care is off to a rocky start.

>> reporter: the president insisted it's a sign of how many people want health insurance .

>> we'll be speeding things up to handle all the demand that exceeds anything we had expected.

>> reporter: but some states websites were working. among them, california, connecticut, and colorado. in denver, steve and jen were quick to sign up. he's got tuberculosis and heart disease .

>> over the past year and a half we got over 20 or $30,000 in debt.

>> reporter: every state offers four categories of insurance. bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. in connecticut we found an uninsured family of four earning $50,000 could buy silver coverage for $178 a month in premiums. deductibles at $5,000 and the out of pocket maximum would be $10,400 per year. in georgetown, texas, kimberly went to a clinic for signing up.

>> it weighs on your mind when you don't have insurance.

>> people out there believe in this and want to have access to a provider.

>> about 7 million people is how many people the obama administration hopes will sign up during the first year. eventually they're hoping that 25 million uninsured americans will sign up. guys, back to you.