Health care changes in America proceed with a lot of uncertainty - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Health care changes in America proceed with a lot of uncertainty


It's something we've been hearing about for years, and now we're just over a week away from the largest healthcare enrollment in U.S. history.

The Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to have health insurance by 2014.

President Barack Obama signed the legislation in March of 2010.

Beginning October 1, there will be five options under the ACA for you to consider and determine what coverage is right for you.

There will be several factors to consider before any enrollment, and not all the details are clear at this point.

As the United States healthcare system shifts, the Affordable Care Act requires all Americans to have insurance, but Certified Application Counselor Betsy Arce contends: "It truly is focused on the underinsured and uninsured population. There are millions of people who do not have insurance at this time."

Although Arce said there is a focus on the uninsured, anyone can sign up. They will have five different plans to choose under the law.

"Once you get signed up with a qualified health plan, it's your choice to determine, which level you want to go with," Arce said.

Depending on the plan you choose determines how much money comes out of your pocket.

ACA Counselors said when it comes to paying for a coverage plan, the price will be based off your annual income.

"They can either go with a premium out-of-pocket where they pay it up front each month, and it would be their responsibility to make sure those premiums are paid on time, or they will lose their coverage. Or they can go with tax credits when they file their income tax returns, then that money will come out of their tax return," Arce said.

If you're currently insured with an "affordable" plan, Arce said you may be better off staying with that.

There are lots of numbers and information that isn't available making this new requirement complex.

"Affordable Care Act is changing on a daily basis, it's still kind of a gray area," Arce said.

The enrollment process begins October 1 and runs through March 31.

If you sign up by December 15, your coverage starts January 1.

Those who sign up after December 15 will have a later start date.

If you have the ability to pay for health insurance and opt not to, you will still be paying a price.

Healthcare experts said if you don't have insurance by 2014, you will have to pay 1% of your annual income. That will increase yearly.

By the time you get to 2016, the penalty will be $465 per individual in the household that does not have insurance.

To learn more about your options, you can check out this website.

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