LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - On October 1, when the uninsured in Arkansas may enter the Health Insurance Marketplace, many people will be affected.
The younger generation, including those who are still on their parents' insurance plans, will have to learn about what options are available to them.
"I've got a year left in school," said Ken Ashlin at the University of Central Arkansas. "So basically I can go to the student health clinic and pay like a $25 fee and I get all those benefits of like going to a doctor.
But in November he turns 26, then later, he graduates. Soon he will be in the real world making grown-up decisions.
"I've realized it's my turn to start figuring this stuff out," he said.
Ashlin is part of one group of people that will be affected by the Affordable Care Act. That group includes young adults and single people who do not have health insurance.
Beginning January 1, 2014, single people making $15,415 or less a year have the private option for Arkansas to pick up the entire tab for health insurance premiums. For those who make more money than that there is financial assistance available up to $46,000.
The second group of people affected by the new health care law is middle-class families. The out-of-pocket cost for those who have no health insurance will depend on the family income and family size
Families taking home $32,500 or less a year will receive health insurance premiums paid for by the private option. For families making more than that amount, there is a sliding scale that allows families subsidies to help pay premiums.
The rule of thumb for this scale is that no one should pay more than 9.5 percent of their income on health insurance.
Businesses will also be affected by the Affordable Care Act, as they are the number one source of healthcare insurance.
"If you're a business with fewer than 50 employees, which represents about 95 percent
of Arkansas businesses, you don't have to do anything," said Dr. Joe Thompson. "If you're a business with 25 or fewer and you offer health insurance there's a tax credit to help you pay for that."
Businesses that employ 50 or more people will be required to offer health insurance, but that mandate has been delayed until 2015.
The fourth group that will notice a financial change is of those who choose not to get health insurance.
Beginning January 1, 2014, Americans will be fined if they don't have health insurance. In 2014, they will have to pay $95, that fine increases to $325 in 2015, and goes up to $695 in 2016.
To visit the Arkansas Insurance Department's website, click here: http://www.insurance.arkansas.gov/
For additional help and resources for understanding the Affordable Care Act, click here: http://on.kthv.com/15D6RR8