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Affordable Care Act enrollment begins October 1st

Are you ready for the changes?
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)--Starting October 1st, the Federal Marketplace opens and people can begin signing up for insurance plans at Healthcare.gov.

But there still seems to be a lot of confusion on what to do.

Jenny Hoffman, the Brown County Human Services Department Economic Support Administrator says there are people she’s seen that don’t even realize these changes are happening.

Ask someone on the street about the Affordable Care Act and the answers vary drastically.

“I don’t know too much about what it’s going to entail,” said Timothy Propp.

Taylor Garcia said: “It’s going to cost me a lot more money.”

“I heard there’s something relating to pre-existing conditions,” shrugged Matthew Bouman.

And Allan Serto told Local 5 News, “It increases our insurance premiums a lot.”

The truth is the Affordable Care Act will affect almost everyone. 

But it will have the largest impact on people that are uninsured or losing their Badger Care coverage.

“I was insured as a child but once I was an adult and on my own I’ve never been insured,” said Propp.

Propp isn’t alone.  In fact, he’s one of 450,000 people who are currently uninsured in Wisconsin; And for many October 1st will be their first time signing up for coverage.

“I have to get myself and my son on a family plan which is going to be a lot more expensive, a lot more for co-pays, for medication and regular doctor visits,” said Garcia.

Hoffman and her staff are determined to keep their clients informed.

“As of January 1st, individuals need to have insurance whether that’s employer sponsored or Badger Care or Medicaid or insurance through the Marketplace,” she said.

But even the people who are insured are worried how this will affect their family.

Serto told Local 5 News he’s worried his wife will lose her insurance through her employer because of the new changes and she’ll be moved to part time.

“It’s expensive. It takes out a good 1/3 or more of our monthly [check] basis and if she moves to my plan, it’s going to then take over more than half my checks monthly,” he said.

What will it cost more for most people?

Ted Nickel, the Wisconsin Commissioner of Insurance said it will.

“Consumers on the individual side are going to see increases in the amount of premiums they pay,” he said.

But with the added price comes more coverage he told Local 5 News.

Still confused? Every County Human Services Department will have packets and pamphlets to help break down what consumers need to know.

The Brown County Human Services Department has free access to computers for consumers so they can look up the various plans.

They also have access to phones which will directly connect callers to the Marketplace 800 number so they can ask questions.

That number is 1-800-318-2596

For people with questions about Badger Care coverage call 888-794-5747

 



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