How will the Affordable Care Act affect you? Local experts break it down

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 - 12:00am

In one week, all Americans can register for health insurance. Many people are still trying to wrap their heads around how the Affordable Care Act will affect them.

Some will see big rate increases; others could possibly qualify for some assistance. One thing is for sure, making sense of what a lot of people know as "Obamacare" or the Affordable Care Act can be confusing.

Many people hear "Obamacare" and sigh. That's because the questions looming from this new reform are everywhere but Daryl Conner says it’s about time.

"I think 'Obamacare' is something really good for everyone," he said.

Conner is still paying off bills from minor doctors visits years ago. He says even though you may work, it doesn't mean you are covered.

"This one time I really needed to go so I just went and I know I still have a medical bill I need to pay but I don’t want that on my credit,” said Conner. “It’s been a real struggle."

Under the new Affordable Care Act, all US citizens can apply for health insurance.

"It’s a site where people will be able to shop for insurance plans based upon their particular needs," said Blue Cross Blue Shield CEO and President, Mike Reitz.

Reitz breaks it down.

He says those people with work policies will not be affected. It’s those uninsured and insured individuals who need to listen up.

"The plan will have benefits and cost associated with it. The cost will be a little bit higher than what they are experiencing in the open market right now," noted Reitz.

If you choose not to have insurance, you will be paying a little extra to the government in taxes, so experts recommend signing up.

"Up to 500,000 of 30 or 40 percent in the first year will actually enroll in the plan because you do have to take a step, you do have to enroll, it’s not given to you," noted Reitz.

Some factors that play a part in policy premiums today won’t apply to this new reform.

"There is no pre-existing condition requirement, they do not underwrite the policy," says Louisiana HealthCare Education Coalition’s, Doug Wilkinson.

So now Conner will be able to go to a doctor without worrying about being stuck with a huge bill.

"It's been a headache."

Blue Cross has been waiting three years for the act to go into effect, they have even hired 300 new employees, investing millions into this new change.

Enrollment begins next Tuesday, October 1. All the information you need is at

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