The Affordable Care Act, Health Care Reform, Obamacare. Three names, one program.
â??It was created so that people that do not have insurance would be able to obtain insurance at a lower cost,â?? said Lori Johnson, with the Medical Care Access Coalition in Iron Mountain. â??When you try to go and get insurance through the Marketplace, you typically qualify for a subsidy and that subsidy is based on your income.â??
The Marketplace can be accessed via healthcare.gov, which is the official website for Obamacare. Enrollment ended on March 31, but during the sign-up period, people could be offered a reduced rate not based on pre-existing conditions, but on age and income.
â??There are different plans; there's a bronze plan, a silver plan, and a gold plan. There are different plans within each of those categories,â?? Johnson said.
So far around eight million people have signed up for Obamacare, about 87 percent of them being previously uninsured. The individual mandate of health insurance has been successful for many, but some glitches along the way have made it difficult, as have continually updated information and dates.
â??In the beginning there was so much frustration because it was very difficult to get on the website,â?? said Mylynn Trulock, with DCH Prescription Assistance.
The Affordable Care Act will affect not only individuals but also businesses, as an employer mandate for health insurance will be required starting in 2015.
â??Itâ??s been kind of a crazy year coming forward of implementing, and businesses have to stay on top of it because there's changes all the time,â?? said Diane Gauthier with St. Onge Insurance. â??What can be for one company doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to be the same for another company.â??
The next enrollment date to sign up is November 15. You can visit the Marketplace website here for more information on the program.