Health Insurance Exchange Will Start On Tuesday - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Health Insurance Exchange Will Start On Tuesday

By: Alexa Williams
NewsWest 9

Part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, will begin Tuesday which means Americans can start their enrollment into health care services.

"The insurance exchange has four basic plans, all the way from bronze up to platinum. That doesn't necessarily mean that one plan is better than the other or the quality of care is better than one or the other but rather what amount are you willing to pay out of pocket, what will your premium cost be?" Diana Ruiz, Director of Population and Community Health at Medical Center Hospital, said.

But here in Texas, Governor Perry decided we would not fund our own program.

"We would not be creating our own insurance exchange therefore, the federal government will run our insurance exchange for us. However, we do have the ability, say in the future, we change our minds, as the state of Texas, we can create our own insurance exchange moving forward," Ruiz said.

Not everyone has to sign up for the market place. You can choose to be insured by your employer.

"If you have access to healthcare through your employer than that is going to be your first option. Now if your employer does not have what's called credible coverage then you may be able to go through the exchange. You can always go through the exchange but there is no point in that because you will not be able to get any subsidies if you are entitled to them," Rosa Lindsey, Owner of Rosa Lindsey Insurance, said.

But if you are not covered, there will be some consequences.

"I as an individual ultimately have that right to decide rather I'm going to participate or not. If I choose not to participate in the health insurance exchange or seek insurance from my provider, I will inquire a penalty fee at the tax time and it will be about 1% in 2014 and it increases all the way up to 2.5% in 2016," Ruiz said.

Americans have until March 31, 2014 to get coverage.
 
The Government shutdown will not affect the law from going into effect.
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