Obamacare, Affordable Care Act costs: Open enrollment around corner; are you ready?

PHOENIX - With less than a week until open enrollment for Obamacare, many Arizonans are confused about what to do.

Enroll America is a nonprofit created to educate the public about Obamacare.

Coordinator Stan Williams organizes groups that go door to door, in various neighborhoods, making sure people are prepared for Oct. 1.

Arizonans can sign up for the marketplace at HealthCare.gov . A person will have to enter in personal information, like age, income and family size. From there, that data will be verified with other federal agencies to check eligibility for government assistance.

"There is financial help available, based on your income," said Williams. "You may get AHCCCS directly, the state's Medicaid program, or you may get help in the form of a tax credit."

More than 100 private insurance companies will offer plans, on four levels of coverage: platinum, gold, silver and bronze. Benefits will be standardized across all levels, across all insurance companies involved.

"All of the plans in addition to covering the basics, have to show you in plain language, what all is covered at what cost," Williams said.

Cost will vary depending on age, income and where a person lives.

A new report by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) show, a 27-year-old Phoenix resident, who makes $25,000 per year will pay $123 per month for the lowest cost bronze plan and $145 per month for the second lowest cost silver plan, taking into account tax credits. For a family of four in Phoenix with an income of $50,000 per year, the lowest bronze plan would cost only $202 per month. 

Oct. 1 marks the beginning of a six-month long open enrollment period that runs through March 2014.  Coverage begins as early as Jan. 1.

In Arizona, the average premium for the lowest-cost silver plan will be $248 and for the lowest cost bronze plan it will be $214. The average premium nationally for the second lowest cost silver plan will be $328 before tax credits, or 16 percent below projections based off of Congressional Budget Office estimates. 

To find out about how much you'll pay per month, you can visit the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation website.

About 95 percent of uninsured people eligible for the Marketplace live in a state where their average premium is lower than projections. And states with the lowest premiums have more than twice the number of insurance companies offering plans than states with the highest premiums.

There will be people in local communities who can provide in-person help with coverage choices called navigators. To find the closest one, head to localhelp.healthcare.gov .

Print this article Back to Top

Comments