Obamacare opens up possibilities for 48.6M uninsured - KCTV5 News

Obamacare opens up possibilities for 48.6M uninsured

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For the uninsured Kansas Citians looking for health insurance plans to fit their individual or family needs, the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplace will be beneficial.

Kathryn Brown does not have health insurance. She is among the 48.6 million without health insurance, according to the United States Census Bureau's 2011 report.

She has had to make tough decisions before about getting medical care and paying for it.

"Be sick, can't go to the doctor, go to work sick," Brown said.

And just recently she says her fast food employer cut her hours from full-time to part-time.

"They cut it because of Obamacare is what they told us. They don't want to pay insurance for us," she said.

Brown is thinking about the Affordable Care Act and shopping on the government's website, the Marketplace for Health Insurance. Starting Oct. 1, people can apply and enroll for health insurance through the marketplace.

Jim Torres is a Marketplace for Health Insurance counselor at Samuel Rodgers Health Center.

"The marketplace is a place where people can go if they are uninsured, they are not covered by Medicare or Medicaid or through their employer they can go shop for insurance and see if they can find an affordable plan that suits their needs," he said.

People can ask their employer if it plans to offer health insurance. If not, they can shop for their own.

For example, a single person with a yearly salary between $11,490 to $45,960 can qualify for health insurance in the marketplace and may even receive a tax subsidy when paying their premium.

But Brown will need to decide soon. Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, those who do not have insurance over a three-month period could end up paying a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service.

"Those whose incomes are so low that they cannot afford to purchase insurance through the marketplace can obtain a waiver of that penalty," Torres said.

To find out more, log on to healthcare.gov.

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