Enrollment begins for Affordable Care Act - CBS46 News

Enrollment begins for Affordable Care Act

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Uninsured Americans officially can begin enrolling in the federal government's healthcare plan Tuesday.

The website Healthcare.gov is officially up and running.

That's good news for people like Cynthia Black who is uninsured. Black is a manager at a health food restaurant and is the single mother of a daughter in college.

Whenever they need to visit a doctor, Black has to pay for it out of her own pocket, she said.

"A year in advance, I have to put money away if I want to go to the doctor," Black said.

That's why Black is glad that she and about 2 million other uninsured Georgians will be able to buy health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.

"I think it's pretty good," Black said.

People who already have healthcare can keep the plans under their current coverage.

One expert said the act means the uninsured will have more options in choosing a plan they can afford.

"It will help Georgians who are uninsured a great deal," said Tim Sweeney, director of health policy at the non-partisan Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

Sweeney said the law will help the elderly, the poor, freelancers and part-time employees get coverage.

"Georgians will be able to visit healthcare.gov and start to look and compare new insurance options they'll have," Sweeney said.

Under the Affordable Care Act, uninsured Georgians will need to go online and shop for a healthcare option.

The newly insured can put children up to age 26 on their plans. Government subsidies are available based on income. Online calculators can help determine who qualifies for subsidies.

People with pre-existing conditions cannot be turned down.

"Those pre-existing conditions, be it high blood pressure or heart disease or asthma or something else, will definitely be covered," Sweeney said.

Cameron Moran, a father of three young children, said he is cautiously optimistic the Affordable Care Act will help him afford coverage he has been forced to forgo.

"I'm hoping it's everything they say it is," Moran said.

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act begins Tuesday morning and will end March 31. Coverage is scheduled to start January 1.

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