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Open enrollment for the health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act opened on Tuesday as planned, despite the government shutdown.

Many people ran into major difficulty trying to access the site.

President Obama said that was because more than a million people had tried to access www.healthcare.gov by early morning. Some users encountered messages that the entire system was down.

The President said officials were hoping to speed up the system later Monday. He said applications were also being taken by phone at800 318-2596.

We've been getting a lot of viewer questions about the new health plans through our Facebook page, and we're doing our best to address them.

Donna Antonio asks, "As long as I'm covered by my husband's insurance, I should be okay even if I'm unemployed, right?"

If you already have coverage through a spouse, you can stick with that health plan and you won't be fined.

Keep in mind, though, that many employer plans are changing. Some are dropping coverage for spouses and kids, or limiting the benefits.

Christy Whittemore says she's a student and can't get insurance through her husband's job.

She asks, "How will this affect us if we can't afford to get insurance on our own?"

The good news is, the health law was designed to help those who might not be able to afford insurance otherwise.

Once traffic on the marketplace calms down, you can log on to healthcare.gov.

You'll be able to compare different premiums on health plans and see how much you'll get back in tax credits.

Carrie Marshall asks, "What does the health law cover? Is there any way people can get their own insurance without it?"

The health law is expanding to cover a lot of things, like free preventive care, emergency services, maternity care and more.

If you decide not to go through the marketplace, you can still find coverage through your job, Medicare or Medicaid.

You'll need to buy insurance one way or another or face fines.

Amber Upshaw asks, "What if you're unemployed? Does this apply to you if you have no income?"

The new health law affects everyone.

It requires virtually every single American to get health insurance, whether that's through the marketplace, or not.

Even if you don't have an income, you'll want to keep checking back with the marketplace to see what low-cost plans you're eligible for.

Ana Sanders asks, "We can't afford 330 dollar monthly insurance. What are our options, and how will the law affect us?"

In theory, you'll be able to compare different plans side-by-side on the marketplace.

Depending on your income, you may be eligible for cheaper premiums, federal subsidies and tax credits.

You must buy some sort of health insurance for every member of your family, or face paying a fine.

In 2014, that fine is 95 dollars per adult, or 1 percent of your income, depending on whichever is bigger.

Uninsured kids will also be fined.

That number will keep jumping every year you don't have health coverage.

If you can't get on to the website, you still have plenty of time to sign up for a plan.

Enrollment closes March 31st, and you won't be fined as long as you get insurance before that deadline.

Follow 13WMAZ's Anita Oh on Twitter @anita_oh and ask questions about the health care overhaul on Facebook at Anita Oh WMAZ.

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