ACA insurance enrollment begins October 1st

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SARASOTA, FL-- The sign up process for the Affordable Care Act Insurance Exchange begins October 1st.  Which means the millions of uninsured Americans will soon have insurance.

"You never know when you will be in an accident or when something will stick you and people go bankrupt without health insurance," said Dr. Linda Stone with the Sarasota Health Department.

With that information in mind law makers passed the Affordable Healthcare Act. It mandates that everyone get health insurance by 2014.  And, come October 1st the uninsured will begin selecting their policy options from the Federal Online Market Exchange.

"It is a place where the different health insurance company's have placed plans.  They're four different types of plans available," added Stone.

Those four plans category are Gold, Silver, Bronze and "Catastrophic. Throughout the state there will be 5 companies to chose from.  Those companies will offer more than 60 policy options for both Manatee and Sarasota county residents.  And, for many including those with preexisting conditions this will be the first time they will be able to get coverage.

"They will have an opportunity to not be denied insurance coverage because they have a preexisting condition.  Plus their rates wont be any different than anyone else.  So they will be able to get the care that they need," added Stone.

According to the Affordable Care Act, those rates will be around 9.5%of a persons income. Those who already have insurance do not have to sign up.  But if they are paying more than 9.5% of their income for health insurance they too can go to the online health insurance exchange to see what policy options are available.  And so called "navigators" who are selected by the federal government will also be helping people process their applications.

"They will have to bring in the required documents, they include financial documents, family demographics and the system will kick back what they qualify for based on that information," said Jackson Youmas, the Executive director of "Help Us Help You", one of the navigators selected to help with applications in the Suncoast area.

All ACA compliant policies must 10 essential services, they include emergency care, hospitalization, as well as mental health and substance abuse disorders services.