RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, not everyone is impacted.
Americans who already have a health plan, whether it's through their job, Medicare or Medicaid, are not effected.
But for those who either do not have insurance or purchase their own outside insurance, shopping for health care coverage began Tuesday. Enroll on or before December 15, 2013 for coverage to start at the first of the year. Health coverage starts begins January 1, 2014. Open enrollment ends March 31, 2014.
"There are four different plans for different levels based on a metal plan there is gold, bronze, platinum and silver," Sheryl Garland with VCU's Health System explained. "Individuals can go and look at the various plans and compare the prices and figure out what can be affordable for them, but there is an essential health benefit package that must be provided in all of the plans."
If you do not get coverage by the March cutoff date, penalties will be implemented. The first year, those who do not enroll will have to pay $95 a year or one percent of your income--whichever is greater. And for those who do not enroll by 2016, it goes to $695 per adult or 2.5 percent of their income--again, whichever is greater.
For more information including where to enroll, click here. You can also call the 24/7 helpline at 1-800-318-2596.
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