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Half a million health insurance shoppers who faced delays reaching a federal help line earlier this month are getting a little extra time to start their new year with coverage.

North Carolina’s community pharmacists are taking a lead role in a $15 million Affordable Care Act experiment to see if they can cut costs and keep patients healthier.

At 61, Ken Helms of Charlotte would love to have health insurance. Based on what he earned directing traffic this year, he’s eligible for federal help paying premiums and out-of-pocket costs under the Affordable Care Act.

Auditor Beth Wood, a Democrat, had hired Gruber to analyze the state’s Community Care of North Carolina program, which provides managed care to the poor and disabled. Republican Gov. Pat McCrory and state lawmakers involved in reforming the state’s Medicaid system were studying whether to include the Community Care program in the reformed system.

People renewing health insurance bought on the Affordable Care Act exchange are seeing higher rate increases in Charlotte and North Carolina than most places across the country, a flurry of national analyses show.

The Obama administration downsized the nation’s marketplace health insurance enrollment to 6.7 million people on Thursday after House investigators found the original estimates for medical coverage included 400,000 people who only had dental coverage.

North Carolina senior citizens who choose private Medicare policies are seeing an unusual level of turmoil this year, with more than 57,000 notified their plans won’t be offered in 2015.

Health sharing ministries, a Christian alternative to insurance, are booming in the wake of Obamacare, creating a new twist in an already complex health care system.

North Carolina advocates report a smooth launch as the federal health insurance exchange opens for 2015 enrollment Saturday.

Starting Nov. 15, consumers can sign up for health insurance on the federal or state health exchanges. Officials say they have worked out many of the technical problems that plagued last year’s enrollment.

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