How Does ObamaCare Work?

In the days leading up to October 1, 2013 there is going to be lots of media attention on the new health care law. You will hear about it everywhere. Because it involves both insurance and health care, two very confusing subjects on their own, many people will be asking the question: how does ObamaCare work?

ObamaCare For Dummies

The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is a nationally implemented program that allows all people to gain access to affordable health insurance. It is NOT free health care and it is NOT something you can go into a doctor’s office and ask for.

ObamaCare’s goal is that no person in America can be refused health insurance, even if they have a pre-existing condition. People who have little income will be eligible for subsidies that will help pay for part or all of their monthly premiums. People who have higher incomes will have to pay out of pocket for their insurance, just like before.

Many people will not be affected by ObamaCare because they get insurance through their employer. The ACA is a program that provides more access to insurance and will mainly affect those people who don’t at present have any. This type of person might be self employed without coverage, work for an employer who doesn’t provide insurance, be too poor to afford insurance, or have been rejected due to a pre-existing condition.

How To Get ObamaCare Insurance

The ACA stipulates that every adult in the United States must have health insurance (there are exceptions of course). In order to make that happen, each of the 50 states has either set up their own insurance marketplace or they will use the federal marketplace. That is where people will buy insurance.

These insurance exchanges are a brand new undertaking and are very complicated to put together. Once they are live, residents in every state can go to their exchange and shop for insurance that is supposed to be affordable. To find your state health insurance exchange click the link and then click on your state where you will find more information and a link to the marketplace.

There will be different insurers across the country and that is one of the reasons both plans and prices will vary from state to state. Bigger states will usually have more plans available and at different prices from smaller states. You can only buy health plans from the state you live in.

October 1, 2013 is the first official day every online state exchange will be open for insurance shopping. ObamaCare will then be live and you will be able to choose from different health plans and find something that is affordable for your needs. There will be assisters called “navigators” who are tasked with helping people understand the different plans and finding the right one for each person.


**It should be noted that nothing like this has ever before been attempted in the United States and there will undoubtedly be some hiccups along the way. ObamaCare may not work smoothly out of the gate as everything is new and unforeseen problems might surface. Patience is the best way to proceed and if you start looking on October 1, you will have three full months before any of the insurance plans kick in.