CREATED Sep. 26, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - With the time to sign up for a health insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act, we took to Facebook to ask our viewers what questions they had.
David Sayen, regional administrator of the agency that will handle the exchange program, the Centers for Medicare and Medicade services, was on the phone with us to answer.
One viewer, Julie, wrote that she could not afford the rates.
Sayen's response: "Through this vehicle of the marketplace, we're going to administer a federal subsidy to create a discount, or reduce the monthly premium."
Meaning Julie and others who relate, may find that because of their income, they will not have to pay as much.
But what about the application, viewer Steve wonders. "How long, intrusive and privacy violating is it?"
"It can be done in a pretty brief amount of time," Sayen said. "It's your name, where you live, what you expect your income to be by next year, how many people in your family."
It can be done online on healthcare.gov, over the phone, or on paper, and you can start shopping on Tuesday.
Finally, viewer Bill asked, "How can I opt out of the law?"
In short, Sayen said no. The mandate said you have to have insurance, whether it's private or through the exchange.
If you do not...
"Then they are subject to a fee, which is the lesser of $95 or 1% of year income," Sayen said.
That fee will increase every year you are uninsured.
Still have questions? Here's what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has to say:
"Consumers can get help finding Marketplace coverage through a number of different resources. They can get more information through HealthCare.gov
, or cuidadodesalud.gov
. They can participate in an online web chat, or call 1-800-318-2596 toll free (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) to speak with a trained customer service representative with translation services available in 150 languages. "