Get ready. Obamacare is here — almost

Affordable Care ActIt’s countdown time as the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, begins to take effect on Oct. 1.  That’s when small business owners and individual can begin shopping for mandated insurance plans.

The notion of Health Care Exchanges conjures the image of a busy marketplace.  But these are online shopping places, where you can compare prices before making purchases.

Until now, the cost of insurance plans sold on marketplaces operated by the federal government has been unclear.  However, a new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers details for the first time.

For Ohioans, this is important because you will buy your plans on these federally operated exchanges.

If you’re thinking about making a purchase, you’ll first need to gather some basic information, including your Social Security Number.  For individuals, this checklist on the federal government’s website will help you prepare.    Or, if you own or operate a small business, you can click here for your checklist.

Once you are ready, here is the webpage where Ohioans can apply for coverage, compare prices and enroll.

Those who need help can visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov for assistance close to home.  You’ll be able to search by city and zip codes for local organizations offering various types of help, such as for small businesses or for individuals who do not speak English.

 

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Because healthcare information changes rapidly, you should always verify information with your providers.