But we were told these websites were overwhelmed with people signing up. How is it that this few actually got coverage?
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As Maryland’s new online marketplace for health insurance continues to have trouble handling a deluge of requests to set up accounts, state health officials are exploring alternative ways to create those accounts, the state’s health secretary said Wednesday.

Dr. Joshua Sharfstein said tens of thousands have visited the site but fewer than 100 people so far have actually enrolled in a health plan through Maryland Health Connection. Sharfstein estimated that hundreds have been able to create accounts online.

“We’ve had a significant bottleneck in getting people accounts,” Sharfstein said in an interview late Wednesday afternoon.

Supporters of the health care overhaul are emphasizing that there will be plenty of time for people to enroll, because coverage is not scheduled to begin until Jan. 1.

Sharfstein also said that people have been able to shop for plans online, once they create an account.

Maryland Health Connection, the online site, opened Tuesday, but delays began almost immediately. Sharfstein estimated the site received about 65,000 unique visitors on Tuesday and 40,000 on Wednesday.

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