What the Affordable Care Act means for you

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TOPEKA, KS — Starting Tuesday, everyone in the country can sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. But Monday, the state gave informational sessions talking about changes you can expect in insurance.

Nicolette Schleisman tells us how many plans will be available and the penalty if you are not insured.

“We’re old enough, that we’ve got to have an insurance policy. You gotta have it,” said Loren Walshire.

Roughly 365,000 Kansans do not have insurance. And with the Affordable Care Act, the hope is, that number will change.

“Finally in our country, we’re recognizing the importance of everyone having access to health care services,” said Sandy Praeger, Insurance Commissioner.

Before the plan is available to sign up for, the Kansas Insurance Department wants to be sure that everyone understands what is in store.

“The biggest concern, over and over again is what is going to happen to Medicare, and Medicare does not change,” said Praeger.

The one main difference with the Affordable Care Act is that anyone who can afford insurance has to get it.

“If you don’t want to purchase it, and have minimal essential coverage, than you will be penalized a 95 dollar penalty, and they will take it out of your tax return,” said Cindy Hermes, Director of Public Outreach for the Kansas Insurance Department.

With these new policies, you cannot be denied if you have a preexisting health condition.

“It doesn’t matter anymore what your health condition is, you will get an insurance plan,” said Hermes.

There will be 75 different plan benefits available online on a marketplace.

“The policies will provide a lot more individual benefits than they have in the past. And there will be financial assistance for the individual, if they’re eligible,” said Hermes.

Hoping to make caring for yourself, easier.

Benefits for new plans do not start until January.

For more information about the Affordable Care Act and how it will affect you from the Kansas Insurance Department, visit: insureKS.org.

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