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NYS Healthcare Exchange A Breeze Compared To Obamacare Website

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York's healthcare exchange has fared much better than the national website, and has many satisfied customers.

But some who had their plans canceled and hoped it would be restored, now wonder where they stand, CBS 2's Dick Brennan reported Wednesday.

It's not clear just how many people have had their plans canceled in New York, but it's estimated at about 100,000.

That's out of an insured pool of about 16 million. At least they are heading to a website that's been running smoothly.

"The process on New York's website is so easy," said Keith Stiles of Midtown.

Stiles, 51, said he got his plan on the New York exchange, and is delighted – a subsidized plan, meaning lower cost, more coverage.

"Eighty-six dollars a month and the coverage is incredible," Stiles said.

But what if you're Tina Discepola of Ardsley? Her plan was canceled because of Obamacare. It appeared it would be reinstated after President Barack Obama did an about -face and said if you like your plan you can keep it.

Not so fast.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has indicated New York State will not be following the president's plan to re-issue policies.

"We've actually had good success with our program, so we don't need to change it now because we are not having those types of issues," Cuomo said.

Indeed, the New York exchange has not had the problems of the federal plan, as of last week signing up some 48,000 people, almost twice what the feds have.

But critics note nearly 50 percent go to Medicaid.

"If we are putting more people on Medicaid we are not really accomplishing the goal of healthcare reform. The goal of healthcare reform is to provide quality health insurance," said Yevgeniy Feyman of the Manhattan Institute.

Many are finding cheaper plans on the New York website, but some say that's because New York's rates are already sky-high due to Obamacare-style reforms that date to the 1990s.

"In '93, Cuomo administration enacted new regulations in New York's insurance market that effectively tanked any hope of having an individual market. Young people left the market. Sicker, older people stayed in. The Pataki administration made it worse by requiring minimum benefit requirements," Feyman said.

So what's next for the people with canceled plans in New York? Discepola's insurance company didn't know. It told her to call back Monday.

Gov. Cuomo did leave himself some wiggle room.

'If it's causing a problem for someone we will certainly look at it, but we don't have those problems in New York," Cuomo said.

Officials said that they expect a surge in enrollment after Thanksgiving, and then they hope to get a sense of the demographics -- if they will get the young, healthy people who will make the plan thrive.

If have a healthcare experience you'd like to share, tweet us: @brennanwcbswlny.

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