By Dorothy Tucker

CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s official: The Affordable Care Act takes effect today, meaning you can begin shopping for health insurance.

Governor Pat Quinn gave a thumbs up as he walked into a kickoff event. Nearly 60,000 people visited the state’s new website by mid-afternoon today.

CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports on how the first day went.

There were thirty calls in the first hour from eager people with questions about Affordable Health Care seeking help from workers at Mount Sinai Community Institute.

Elizabeth Heredia came into the office. She’s a single mom, with a six-year old son, and another on the way.

“I’m employed right now part-time so I don’t get medical benefits,” said Heredia.

Making just $28,000 a year, she’s pretty sure she qualifies, but when Heredia tried to enroll

It said there were too many people online so I have to come back at a later time,” said Heredia. “I came thinking I was going to be able fulfill it and I wasn’t successful in doing it.

Lashonda Bailey also ran into a wall of disappointment.

I got to fill out all the other questions to create an account, but when it got to security questions part, the questions were blank,” said Bailey.

It seems as if the federal site crashed.

“I know they have a very large server but we have a lot of people uninsured across the country,” said Laura Leon, project director for the navigator program at Sinai Community Institute of Chicago. “They shouldn’t worry. In a few days they’ll be able to get on.

In a few days, Lashonda plans to return.

There have been some glitches today, but counselors want to remind the public that they have six months to enroll in the affordable care plan. Enrollment ends March 31. If you have any questions there is a 24 hour hotline. That number is 800-318-2596.

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