Hoosiers prepare to shop for health care

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Starting Tuesday, Hoosiers will have access to an online marketplace to shop for health insurance as part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Dozens of people showed up to a town hall meeting sponsored by Congressman Andre Carson’s office at the Julia Carson Center to ask questions about how the new law will affect them.

“What’s really confusing is the whole issue of the premiums,” said Brenda Graves-Croom, “knowing how it’s gonna work based on your income and how to choose those and so I’m still pretty confused about that.”

Healthcare experts explained that everyone has to be insured under the new law, unless you fall into the exempt category. If you choose to opt out, the government will penalize you.

If you buy your insurance through the Marketplace at healthcare.gov and you qualify, you could get a tax subsidy to help you pay for your coverage.

Also, insurance companies will no longer be able to turn people down if they have a pre-existing condition or develop one later on in life.

One thing health experts stress is to seek counsel from a ‘Navigator’; someone who is trained by the federal government to help you figure out the best plan for you and your family.

The exchange market opens Oct. 1 and runs through March 31. If you enroll by Dec. 15, your coverage begins on Jan. 1.

If you decide to opt out and pay the penalty, you can decide to pick up a plan during the next open enrollment scheduled for October 2014.

You can find more information at healthcare.gov.

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