Conn. opens nation's first insurance stores to help people sign up for health care coverage

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – Connecticut is opening the nation’s first insurance stores as part of an effort to fight the perception there are problems with its insurance marketplace that’s separate from the flawed federal website.

State officials hailed the brightly lit storefront, modeled after Apple’s stores, as another sign that the rollout of the health care overhaul in Connecticut has been a success. Connecticut is one of 14 states plus the District of Columbia that created their own insurance marketplaces.

At a grand opening for the New Britain store, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Thursday that he doesn’t like how the negative publicity surrounding the federal website has discouraged some people from signing up with Connecticut’s marketplace.

Brian Weber of New Britain says he liked using the store to enrol, saying he’s “not a computer wizard.”