Health Care Exchange Opens Oct. 1 - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Health Care Exchange Opens Oct. 1

Posted: Updated:
MISSOULA -

The Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," was signed into law in March of 2010.

On October 1, that law will open up the U.S. health insurance exchange, allowing Americans to buy their own insurance online, after comparing plans from different companies.

Economists said one of the goals of the Affordable Care Act is to reduce the number of uninsured Americans, and in Montana alone, there are 195,000 people without health care.

Adrian Goodvoice -- a U.S. Navy and Army veteran -- said the military is paying his college tuition, but he's buried under a pile of medical bills after a rollover truck accident.

"So, it landed me in the hospital and have been having some issues since then," he said.

Goodvoice said his current health insurance didn't cover about $1,500 worth of hospital bills -- a big chunk of change for the unemployed father of two.

"And that's just medical expenses by themselves, and that doesn't include any treatment or anything like that, it's just all the x-rays and MRIs that I had to go through," Goodvoice said.

Goodvoice is one of more than 155,000 Montanans economists estimate will switch plans when the marketplace opens on October 1, hoping to lower monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

"Health care has always been a very important component of the Montana economy," said Interim Health Care Director at UM's Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Paul Polzin.

Polzin said the U.S. economy has been slow to grow since the recession because many people weren't sure how the new health care law would affect their own budget.

He said their research looks at how issues and trends in the health care industry will affect the state's economy.

"And one of the interesting, or maybe even shocking things that came out of that was the low level of knowledge that people had about their insurance."

Polzin said choosing health insurance online will help more people understand their own coverage, and provide more options for businesses offering policies for employees.

He added, "October 1st is going to be a big day for both Montana businesses and Montana consumers."

Polzin said research shows the online marketplace will enhance competition among insurance companies, which could ultimately help people save money.

Goodvoice said, "I haven't gotten a chance to take a look at the web site, but I'm hoping that it's really going to be something that I can work with and use."

The Affordable Care Act also provides coverage for children with pre-existing conditions and for young adults under 26.

The health insurance exchange opens online at www.healthcare.gov on October 1, and new health insurance coverage begins January 1, 2014.

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • LOOK: Photos Of 'Blood Moon' During Total Lunar Eclipse

    LOOK: Photos Of 'Blood Moon' During Total Lunar Eclipse

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:59 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:59:30 GMT
    KHQ.COM - It was a sight to behold! The blood moon lit up the heavens last night. If you slept thru it, no need to worry! We recorded the whole thing for you and many of our Facebook friends and viewers have shared the photos that they captured of the total lunar eclipse last night!
    KHQ.COM - It was a sight to behold! The blood moon lit up the heavens last night. If you slept thru it, no need to worry! We recorded the whole thing for you and many of our Facebook friends and viewers have shared the photos that they captured of the total lunar eclipse last night!
  • Former Griz Football Player Battles Cancer

    Former Griz Football Player Battles Cancer

    Tuesday, April 8 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-04-08 23:00:04 GMT
    A former Griz football player prepares to take on different kind of physical challenge, after learning he has cancer. Former linebacker Cole Lockwood got his diagnosis just last week and is now recovering
    A former Griz football player prepares to take on different kind of physical challenge, after learning he has cancer.
  • Butte's Jewish Community Celebrates Passover

    Butte's Jewish Community Celebrates Passover

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 8:23 PM EDT2014-04-16 00:23:28 GMT
    For the second straight night, Jews across the world will sit down for a second Seder to continue the celebration of Passover. Passover is the celebration of the Jew's exodus from Egypt where they served
    For the second straight night, Jews across the world will sit down for a second Seder to continue the celebration of Passover.
  • Auctioned Bull Raises Money for Fellow Breeder

    Auctioned Bull Raises Money for Fellow Breeder

    Friday, April 11 2014 8:11 PM EDT2014-04-12 00:11:47 GMT
    Thousands of dollars were raised in a matter of seconds for a wounded rancher at the 5-L Red Angus Bull Auction in Sheridan Friday. A total of 300 bulls were sold in a matter of four hours, but one bull
    Thousands of dollars were raised in a matter of seconds for a wounded rancher at the 5-L Red Angus Bull Auction in Sheridan Friday.
  • The Beast on the MSU Defensive Line: Taylor Sheridan

    The Beast on the MSU Defensive Line: Taylor Sheridan

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:14 AM EDT2014-04-16 04:14:50 GMT
    Media and coaches have described defensive tackle Taylor Sheridan as physically imposing. The junior only knows how to play one way. "Aggressive. The past few years have been trying to get used to the
    Media and coaches have described defensive tackle Taylor Sheridan as physically imposing. The junior only knows how to play one way.
  • Bridger Bowl Closes For The Season

    Bridger Bowl Closes For The Season

    Monday, April 14 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-15 00:08:27 GMT
    Ski season officially comes to an end for skiers at Bridger Bowl on Monday. Russel Ashby moved to Bozeman last year form Australia. This year was his first full season, skiing at Bridger Bowl."I really
    Ski season officially comes to an end for skiers at Bridger Bowl on Monday.
  • Local Food System Gets Dating Service

    Local Food System Gets Dating Service

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 8:26 PM EDT2014-04-16 00:26:50 GMT
    A non-profit plays match maker between local growers and chefs. The farmer and chef speed dating was put on by the Western Sustainability Exchange, a non-profit that works to conserve land in the west.
    A non-profit plays match maker between local growers and chefs.
  • Ranchers Can Sign Up For Past Disaster Relief

    Ranchers Can Sign Up For Past Disaster Relief

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:57 AM EDT2014-04-16 04:57:07 GMT
    Ranchers who suffered livestock losses in 2012 and 2013 can now sign up for disaster relief. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said the Livestock Indemnity Program and Livestock Forage Disaster Program
    Ranchers who suffered livestock losses in 2012 and 2013 can now sign up for disaster relief.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.