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A quick guide to the Affordable Care Act

7:39 PM, Oct 1, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Affordable Care Act has many people asking questions about specifics of the Act and what it now means. First Coast News Consumer Reporter David Williams asked you what your questions were. The On Your Side team found answers.

Dre Thompson, of Pensacola, asked: "How much is it going to cost?"

Answer: Using the new health insurance marketplace, you'll be able to find coverage that works for you.

CNBC said how much it costs per month depends on how old you are, where you live and how insurers price their premiums in your exchange.

For example, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the average premium for the lowest cost bronze plan in Florida is $257 and in Georgia it's $265.

After tax credit, a Jacksonville family of four earning $50,000 could pay $282 on the second lowest silver plan.

Lesha Corrigan of Jacksonville asked "If I'm already insured, do I have to buy the new insurance?"

Answer: According to healthcare.gov, the health plan you have at work qualifies as minimum essential coverage. Since you already have job-based health insurance, if you are covered and you can keep it. You may be able to change to marketplace coverage if you want to.

Carmen De Las Nueces, of Jacksonville, said "One of my questions is does everybody have to have this type of insurance?"

Answer: The Affordable Care Act's open enrollment began October 1. Most people must have health coverage in 2014 or pay a penalty of $95 per adult, $47.50 per child or 1 percent of your income ... whichever is higher. That will increase yearly. Some may qualify for an exemption if for example, you're insured less than 3 months a year.

Davon Roseboro, of Jacksonville asked "Who's going to pay for it?"

Answer: Depending on your eligibility and what plan you choose, you will pay a monthly premium. The Department of Health and Human Services says you might qualify for lower costs.

Mark Johnson, of Jacksonville, said "I would like to know what is ... what will it help me with? You know ... what kind of services will I get out of it?"

Answer: In the new marketplace, all plans have to offer essential health benefits like doctor visits, preventative care, prescriptions and hospitalization. Plans cannot deny you coverage or charge you more because of a preexisting condition.

Additional questions asked:

What if I have job-based insurance/What if I want to opt-out of my employer's health insurance and switch to the Marketplace?

Enrollment began October 1, 2014. Coverage can start January 1, 2014. Open enrollment closed March 31, 2013.

For more information, visit the Affordable Care Act website

To find help close to where you live or if you have more questions, click here or call:

1-800-318-2596

TTY: 1-855-889-4325

If you are a small business (50 or fewer employees) owner with questions, call

1-800-706-7893

TTY: 1-800-706-7915

First Coast News

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