WJTV News Channel 12 - What Obamacare means for you

What Obamacare means for you

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ROANOKE COUNTY -

While Obamacare goes into effect Tuesday morning, many are still left with questions.

WSLS wanted to find out what you need to know.

Joseph Horvath, a CSA with Anthem bluecross blueshield explains some of the basics.

First, if you have insurance through your job or through a public program like medicare or medicaid, the new health care law doesn't apply to you.

Starting October 1st, people who do not have health insurance or who currently buy their own insurance will be able to shop for coverage plans under the "health insurance marketplace."

Horvath explains the marketplace is a new online site where Americans can find and apply for private insurance coverage.

"You can apply both online and paper applications. The easiest way to access information is on www.healthcare.gov," Horvath said.

In the Health Insurance Marketplace you may be able to lower the costs of your health insurance coverage by paying lower monthly premiums. Horvath says you'll see the amount of savings your 're eligible for when you fill out your Marketplace application. Prices shown for insurance plans will reflect the lower costs.

The cost of the insurance varies based on the plan you choose.

There are four coverage options:bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

Bronze is the least expensive plan, platinum the most expensive.

They all vary by the cost of your deductible.

"Essentially it will run like a sixty forty plan, the silver like a seventy thirty plan, eighty twenty for the gold and ninety ten for the platinum." Horvath explained.

Nine insurance carriers have applied to the marketplace to carry insurance plans. In southwest Virginia those that will be available to you are:

anthem blue cross and blue shield

Aetna

Coventry

optima health

united health care

Many people can get a federal government subsidy to help with the cost depending on household income and family size.

The lower your income, the higher your savings will be.

  • Up to $45,960 for individuals
  • Up to$62,040 for a family of 2
  • Up to $78,120 for a family of 3
  • Up to $94,200 for a family of 4
  • Up to $110,280 for a family of 5
  • Up to $126,360 for a family of 6
  • Up to $142,440 for a family of 7
  • Up to $158,520 for a family of 8.

These figures are based on 2013 numbers and are likely to be slightly higher in 2014.

You have until March 31st of 2014 to enroll in a plan.

If you sign up by December 15 your insurance will kick in on January 1st of 2014.

There will be a penalty fee if you don't sign up.

It's also important to know that if you're already sick before you sign up for a coverage plan insurance companies can no longer refuse to cover you.

Essentially this means that now pre-existing conditions will be a thing of the past.

Starting Tuesday this means if you are diagnosed with an illness you are still eligible for insurance and insurance will cover those medical fees.

 

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