Officials with the New York State Health Department are touting the interest the new health exchange has had in its first week of operation.
They say that more than 40,000 New Yorkers signed up for insurance with the exchange in just over a week, which is more than any other state that has been reporting numbers so far.
The exchange was overwhelmed with more than 30 million visits in its first few days, and that caused some problems at first accessing the site. But the executive director of New York State of Health, Donna Frescatore says the exchange is working smoothly and she is encouraging New Yorkers interested in the insurance to sign up online, over the phone and at hundreds of centers located across the state.
State officials say the rates for the health plans represent a 53 percent reduction compared to what they had been able to get on the open market. And it's estimated that nearly three quarters of individual enrollees will qualify for financial assistance.
The exchange officially opens on January 1.