Looking into affordable healthcare

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COLUMBUS, Ga.- Open enrollment time is here and Viola Johnson says she doesn’t really understand the in’s and out’s when it comes to health insurance.

Johnson said, “Sort of, but then again I don’t. One week it’s something else another week it’s something else. So I don’t understand it period.”

Sharon Winn, a director at Blue Cross blue Shield, says the Affordable Health Care Act made it mandatory for everyone to have health insurance.

Winn said, “They weren’t getting basic wellness visits. They weren’t going to their doctor’s office and taking their children to get vaccines because they were worried that they couldn’t afford it.”

Johnson says she simply can’t afford insurance.

“I got my son to cover me as far as health insurance is concerned because I’m living with him now and I know when I was out there on my own it was too expensive and it was hard for me to pay a private insurance company,” said Johnson.

Insurance prices continue to go up.

Winn said, “With health care reform maternity is the one thing that has to be in every single plan.”

Experts say it’s important to keep yourself educated and updated before renewing.

If you don’t sign up for insurance before January 31st Sonja Smith, with Enroll Alabama, says you will pay a fine.

“And if you were without health insurance for more than three months in that calendar year than that’s when you would pay a fine,” said Smith.

The fine comes out of your tax return and those who opt out completely also pay a pretty penny.

Smith said, “The maximum amount is going to be $695 per adult and $347 for children under the age of 18 or 2.5% of your household income and that’s whatever is greatest.”

Experts say it’s cheaper to have insurance than to go without.

For more information on healthcare click here.

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