How Obamacare Will Work

Obamacare becomes a reality on October 1, 2013. That’s when you can sign up for the Affordable Care Act. The new insurance program will get underway on January 1, 2014 and will bring significant change for people who are uninsured, and self-insured.  This video produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation and narrated by former ABC anchor Charlie Gibson walks you through what Obamacare will mean to you.

In Washington, President Obama said today the Affordable Care Act, “is doing what it’s designed to do–deliver more choices, better benefits, a check on rising costs.”  He said as the plan goes into effect, “there’s gonna be glitches.” But the administration is working through the problems to give Americans more financial security.

He explained that, “…starting October 1st, new online marketplaces will allow consumers to go online and compare private health care insurance plans just like you’d compare over the Internet the best deal on flat-screen TVs, or cars or any other product that is important to your lives.  And you’re going to see competition in ways that we haven’t seen before.  Insurance companies will compete for your business. And in states that are working hard to make sure this law delivers for their people, what we’re seeing is that consumers are getting a hint of how much money they’re potentially going to save because of this law.  In states like California, Oregon, Washington, new competition, new choices, market forces are pushing costs down.”

In New York State, it is estimated that health insurance will be 50 percent less for those who self-insure.

Consumer Savings

A provision of the Affordable Care Act already in place requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of every dollar that you pay in premiums on your health care instead of overhead or  profit. If they don’t spend the 80 percent they must provide refunds to consumers.  In 2012, 13 million people received rebates from insurers.  And 8.5 million rebates of about $100 each are set to go out this summer.

Yet yesterday, Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to dismantle parts of the Affordable Care Act and the President criticized them saying, “We’ve got a lot of problems in this country, and there’s a lot of work that Congress needs to do:  get a farm bill passed, get immigration reform done, make sure we’ve got a budget in place that invests in our children and our future.  And yet, instead we’re refighting these old battles.  Sometimes I just try to figure out why.”


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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.