Sep 25, 2013 7:47 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

New Phase Beginning With "Affordable Care Act"

Next week a new phase begins when it comes to the "Affordable Care Act." The law requires all Americans to have health insurance by 2014. However starting Tuesday October 1st, Americans without health insurance will have the chance to start shopping for coverage in what's being called the "Health Insurance Market Place."

In Louisiana, the market is operated by the Federal government. You'll have to go to "" to create an account, apply, pick a plan, and enroll. If you make a purchase, your coverage begins on January 1st.

If you don't have insurance by march 31st, fines will kick in, either one percent of your income, or 95 dollars, whichever is more.

Some elements of the law are already in effect. For example, children can remain on their parent's insurance until they're 26, and some seniors are paying less on prescriptions. Additionally, those with pre-existing conditions are guaranteed coverage.

A new federal report says plans offered on Louisiana's Health Insurance Marketplace will cost among the highest in the country. People in Louisiana will pay on average 374 dollars for a mid-range insurance plan. That's 46 dollars higher than the national average of 328 dollars.



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