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Federal health exchange launches in Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A federal Health Insurance Marketplace that allows consumers to shop for and buy health insurance, often with the help of federal tax subsidies, is launching across the country.

More than 140 navigators have been hired in Oklahoma and were prepared to help people Tuesday with questions about the federal marketplace. That's the first day consumers can begin shopping, comparing and buying health insurance plans online at healthcare.gov or in person.

Tuesday morning, the marketplace website noted that heavy traffic was making the page slow to load. The Oklahoma page took several minutes but eventually advanced to a log-in screen.

In Oklahoma, state agencies have not been involved in promoting the federal exchange.

Oklahoma has an estimated 640,000 residents, or about 17 percent of its total population, without health insurance.

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