2.1 Million now insured under Affordable Care Act

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - More than two million people are now covered by the Affordable Care Act.

As a student at UW Eau Claire, working part time jobs, Nicholas Schneider of Chippewa Falls said affordable health insurance wasn't an option for him, but the Affordable Care Act gave him that chance.

"I've been lucky over the last five, six years that I haven't had insurance. And I know that it's important to have. You're just an accident or an illness away from having huge debt," Schneider said.

"Hopefully we avoid anything catastrophic or if something is wrong, it can be caught early rather than at the crisis point. That gives me comfort."

With a check up scheduled, he and 2.1 million other Americans, including 7,000 with Security Health in Wisconsin can now take advantage of the Affordable Care Act.

Marshfield Clinic patient assistance counselor Cindy McCombs said her job changed to almost entirely working with applicants looking for coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

"I've seen people pass away because they won't come in because of the cost of things. So I believe everyone does deserve to have health insurance when they need it," McCombs said.

Marshfield Clinic said it has added part time staff to meet the demand of applicants, but haven't had any issues in dealing with changes this week.

"It's a little early to tell if we need to do any ramping up of any additional staff. I believe in the next 90 days, we'll have a better assessment if there will be any additional needs," patient financial services manager Pam Stangret said.

"Is it a perfect plan? I'm sure it's not. But it's a starting point and I think it literally has been in effect now for two days and so give it an opportunity to ... unfold and see what happens and changes and improvements can be made along the way I think," Schneider said.

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