Affordable Care Act 101 - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Affordable Care Act 101

In just six days health care will change as we know it.

Starting October 1st, Americans will be able to buy health insurance online through an exchange program the Affordable Care Act created. Think of it as a market place. Everyone will need insurance by 2014, so here's what you need to know:

The amount of money you'll have to pay for coverage depends on where you live and how old you are.

"The lowest premium that's going to be available is $138 in the state of Texas," said Larry Pond, an insurance agent.

That's based off a 27-year-old. However, if you're 26 or younger you will still be covered under your parent's insurance. Your income can also determine how much you'll have to pay for coverage.

"If you're at poverty level 400 percent and under, you're going to have a subsidy or some kind of tax credit given to you," said Pond.

The income cutoff for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act is $46,000 for individuals, or $94,000 for a family of four. However, while your income can save you money, your medical history won't save you a dime.

Pond said, "You can be in need of a heart transplant and it's not going to cost you any more than a guy who is a great athlete."

Starting in 2014 you can't be denied health insurance or charged more because you have a pre-existing medical condition.

The most important part is, you must have insurance by March 31st. If you don't, you face a fine of one percent of your yearly income, or $95 per person. Whichever is highest.

To find out what your coverage options are and how much they will cost you can go to this website starting October 1st: www.healthcare.gov

 

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6

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