Open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act add choices in October

TULSA - Oklahomans will be able to start looking at the options and rates during open enrollment for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act in October.

"Significant changes are pending because of the health care reform law on Oct. 1," Community Care Senior Vice President Greg Burns said.

There are many forms of qualifying coverage, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Indian Health Services System or Tricare coverage for active duty and retired members of the military.

The data is overwhelming that folks who have good health insurance are healthier.  It seems like a logical thing to say," Burns said.

Health insurance experts estimate about 450,000 uninsured Oklahomans will turn to the new marketplace exchange for insurance, and most people fall into certain categories.

"The younger categories, 20, 30, young 30's, historically have a high number of uninsured.  There is also the category of folks 55 to 65, who have not hit Medicare quite yet," Burns said.

Coverage rates through the exchange will be available starting Oct. 1 through healthcare.gov, with different plans being offered based off of an individual's annual income.

If you do not have insurance by Feb. 15, the deadline to enroll in a healthcare plan to ensure you're covered by March 31, you will face tax penalties based on your income.

Taxes will range from one percent in 2014, two percent in 2015 and even more in 2016, Burns said.

Even if you already have health coverage, you can still turn to the health exchange beginning in October to see if you can find a more affordable form of coverage.

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