Nightly News   |  January 01, 2014

Affordable Health Care Act Goes Into Effect

Millions of Americans began getting coverage under the new health care law, which began today. NBC’s Tom Costello reports.

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>>> after months of frustration and confusion today marked the beginning of a new era of health care in this country as the affordable care act went into effect and millions of americans began to be covered by health insurance . government says more than 2 million have now signed up. the white house hopes millions more will enroll in the coming months before everyone is required to have insurance by march. the obama administration found itself dealing with another issue. more from tom costello.

>> $30 in net worth . $40 coinsurance.

>> reporter: in delaware, this family has been waiting for this day. both of them artists, kathy was stuck in an expensive policy because of a pre-existing condition. after persisting all through the obamacare website troubles, they and their teenage son are covered under one cheaper policy effective today.

>> this means a lot to people like us being self-employed, having access to a good health care plan.

>> reporter: the new law means no more denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions. no more lifetime dollar caps on insurance claims. millions have been kicked off insurance policies that didn't meet the new minimum standards and computer errors persist. the question today, how will it all work?

>> do the people who manage to the sign up through the website, can they go to the doctor, the pharmacy, and get the health care coverage they didn't have before?

>> reporter: tuesday a supreme court injunction giving several catholic groups an exception to parts of the t new law requiring employers to provide coverage including contraception. while the administration issued rules that believe address religious concerns, several challenges are working their way through the court. troubling signs this michigan where the second largest insurer says customer confusion is a big reason why very few insured signed up there.

>> this cannot succeed without adjustments. i think everybody was hopeful this would make a difference. think the adjustments are critical to make it be successful the way we wanted it to be.

>> reporter: still, supporters of health care reform believe today is at least a start.

>> we'll begin to move toward a country in which most everyone has health insurance coverage instead of a country with large numbers of uninsured as we have today.

>> reporter: there are many trouble spots. people who signed up who haven't yet received cards or aren't showing up in the right computer system . confusion over premiums and benefits. tonight, millions of americans are insured under the obamacare system and the numbers of people signing up are expected to increase in