CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Signed into law in March of 2010, "Obamacare" --- as even the president now calls it --- has a major unveiling in just three weeks on computer screens across the country. On October 1, Americans will have the chance to find cheaper health insurance through an online marketplace and sign-up for it.
Among the folks affected: Those whose employers don't offer insurance or who haven't been able to afford coverage when they've tried to buy a policy on their own.
Nearly three million uninsured people in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky are eligible for insurance through the new online marketplace, according to the Obama Administration.
But the key to making it work is ensuring everyone is covered. Otherwise, insurance companies will be stuck with a bunch of people who are sick and need expensive healthcare. Americans who make enough money to file an income tax return will be fined if they don't have any insurance starting next year. The fine starts out at $95 or 1 percent of your family's income, whichever is greater. (The federal government will find out whether you have insurance when you file your income tax return.) By 2016, the fine rises to $695 for an adult or 2.5 percent for a family, whichever is greater.
Each state may have a different website for its insurance marketplace. Here's a breakdown of the sites for people in the Tri-State:
- In Ohio, you'll go here: https://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-marketplace-in-my-state/#state=ohio
- Kentucky residents have their own site: http://kynect.ky.gov/
- For Indiana, go here: https://www.healthcare.gov/what-is-the-marketplace-in-my-state/#state=indiana
You can already find some information about how much the plans being unveiled October 1 will cost. For instance, a family of four in Kentucky that makes $48,000/year can buy a health insurance policy for $252 a month.
While Pres. Obama says the Affordable Care Act will bring quality healthcare to millions of Americans who need it, critics point-out that it may be cheaper for some people to pay the fine than buy a policy.