Obamacare Launched: Facts, Myths, How to Apply
-Starting Tuesday, Oct. 1, Americans who do not have health coverage can start applying for government-sponsored coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
-Anyone without coverage by Jan. 1, 2014 will face a financial penalty.
-Open enrollment for the program ends March 31, 2014.
–According to CBS, most of the 47 million Americans who currently lack health coverage do not know the program is set to launch.
-The Act prevents insurance companies from refusing applicants because of pre-existing medical conditions.
-It makes raising plan premiums more than 10 percent more difficult.
-It forces coverage of dependents until the age of 26 on plans purchased under Obamacare.
-The federal government will run the exchange in 36 states. Other states have set up exchanges.
-The average premium for a mid-tier policy will be $328 monthly, according to Reuters.
-The plans expected to be most popular for their balance of coverage and out-of-pocket costs are the second cheapest among the silver plans. In this group, Minnesota had the lowest costs with an average of $192 per month, reports Reuters.
Eric Golub dispelled some myths about Obamacare in an article published in the Washington Times Tuesday. The government shut down Tuesday after Congress could not reach a budget agreement, with Republicans refusing to include Obamacare.
-The myth: Congress is only being asked to fund a law it already passed.
The truth: Democrats passed Obamacare in Congress in 2010. Republicans took Congress in 2011 and were not obligated to maintain the policy. Obamacare is law, but it can be repealed.
-The myth: Obamacare costs less than expected.
The truth: It is technically true that the projected increases have lowered, but that can’t be counted as cost decreases, said Golub.
How to Apply:
People can apply at HealthCare.gov. After clicking on the “Apply Now” button, users will be asked to create an account, fill out an application, pick a plan, and enroll. When picking a plan, the user will be given a choice between plans he or she is eligible for.
Navigators are also available to help people through the process. Navigators are personnel hired to answer questions and ease the application process. CBS reports, however, that some states may be inadequately staffed to deal with inquiries.
For local help, visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov.