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As ACA is poised to take effect, Pennsylvanians have options

Updated: Monday, September 30 2013, 07:01 PM CDT
Reported by: Kyle Rogers

HARRISBURG -- President Obamas Affordable Health Care Act moves forward Tuesday morning with the debut of the online exchange and marketplace for uninsured Americans. 

The monumental health care reform changes will not affect many who already have insurance, but more so for those who do not. Under Federal Law, every American must have health insurance by March 31, 2014, or face a fine. 

Monday morning at Pennsylvanias Capitol Rotunda, healthcare providers, advocates and citizens highlighted how Pennsylvanians can get health insurance through the marketplace. 

Tomorrows Oct. 1! exclaimed Susan Mull, a Lancaster County substitute teacher. Its a magical day! Its better than a birthday!

For Mull, who was diagnosed with HIV 21 years ago tomorrow, this is a day she never thought shed live to see.

It sounds over the top to say that it will be life changing, but it will be, she said.

As the website www.healthcare.gov debuts Tuesday morning, the marketplace will begin its open enrollment so Mull, as well as many others like her, can obtain the affordable health care they need.

A journey that will end with 900,000 Pennsylvanians finally have a peace of mind that comes from affordable health care coverage, said Sharon Ward of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. 

Ward, in a press conference today, said finding insurance on the exchange will be easy for the consumer. On the website, there will be a few pieces of information the user will have to include. Advocates expect 56 different options for insurance plans.

You will be able to compare plans and find ones that meet your needs and that you can afford, said Ward. You can see where youll be eligible for subsidies to make it affordable for the family.

Pennsylvania is one of a couple dozen states not organizing a healthcare marketplace and letting the federal government run it instead. 

While a government shutdown is looming, President Obama in a news conference insured the healthcare marketplace exchange will not be affected. Funding has already been put in place for the act. It will be operated by essential government employees. 

Advocates expect some bumps in the road as the process is new. 

We are not all experts in the Affordable Care Act, but we are all experts in our families' need, Ward said. 

While the deadline for users to get health insurance is in March, if a plan is purchased by Dec. 15, coverage will begin on Jan. 1.

Accessing the Marketplace:

-www.healthcare.gov
-1-800-318-2596
-Or various locations in the county from the Department of Public Welfare

For more information, click HERE.

As ACA is poised to take effect, Pennsylvanians have options


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