Health care law takes effect Tuesday

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Health care is the reason behind the possible government shutdown.

Under the Affordable Care Act, millions of insured Americans will have access to affordable health care on Tuesday. Here’s what people who fall in this number need to know.

“It’s not free,” said Dr. Robert Padgett, human resources director of One Health Ohio in Youngstown.

One Health Ohio has spent months getting ready for  market place open enrollment. Federal grant money allowed it to hire more people to help with the process, including counselors who will work with applicants.  Income and medical condition are the two main factors in determining which package works for each individual.

“You’ll spend up to 9.5 percent of your income on an insurance package, and you’ll get tax credits, which can credit back and the tax credits are immediate, to help with the cost of insurance,” Padgett said.

Padgett said people also will want to be aware of deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.

“As we understand it, the maximum out-of-pockets are going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $6,350, so there are out-of-pocket maximums.

Open enrollment is for six months. Counselors will plug patient information into a software  that Padgett said is like an online tax return.

“And it’s going to tell you which package is most appropriate for you and what it’s going to cost you,” he said.

We checked in with a Salem doctor to see if physicians will be affected on Tuesday. Dr. Mike Sevilla of Family Practice Center of Salem said the big date for doctors is Jan. 1.

“And we don’t know what all the final rules are yet, so there’s a lot of debate and concern out there right now for physicians,” Sevilla said.

Sevilla said patients are asking a lot of questions and he doesn’t always have the answers. In the meantime, One Health Ohio said it’s as prepared as it can be for the Affordable Care Act and it will have community events to help clear up any questions.

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