Enrollment starts for Affordable Care Act - FOX Carolina 21

Enrollment starts for Affordable Care Act

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

From Capitol Hill to hospitals, the debate over the Affordable Care Act, or what some call Obamacare, is rolling its way onto the streets of the Upstate - and Ken Madden said he welcomes it.

"For about the last three and half years, it started off as blood clots in my legs, and it eventually led to an amputation," Madden said.

He lives on a fixed income and said without insurance, his bills along with expenses would cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars. He's an amputee who stayed in the hospital for several months, but said after his surgery and with insurance, his expenses weren't as high as he thought.

"I owed, I think, $300," Madden said.

He said now others can benefit from Obamacare, which he calls the law of the land.

"I think they (Congress) should just take Obamacare and let it go, use it," Madden said.

Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act starts Tuesday. According to the act, in South Carolina, on average a mid-range insurance plan could cost $339 a month, and that cost could be less with a tax credit.

If you don't have insurance, you can choose from four tiers. There's a bronze, silver, gold and platinum plan, which is the most care at the highest cost.

But Regina Nugent said Obamacare is going to cost us all. "It's the beginning of socialized medicine," Nugent said. "And while it may be helping 30 million people who don't have coverage today, I really believe in the end it will hurt 50 million people."

She said business owners can't afford to insure employees, so employees will suffer and so could the economy.

"They're all assessing their businesses," Nugent said.

She said those who already have insurance at affordable rates will see their premiums jump, too.

And so from the streets of the Upstate, to hospitals, Obamacare is still being dissected on Capitol Hill.

Those who already have insurance and are interested in new plans can switch, but won't qualify for tax credits. Just about everyone will be required to have health insurance by March 31, 2014, and if not, those people could face a penalty. The first-year fine will be $95, or one percent of the household income.

There are four companies offering insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace in South Carolina. The four are BlueCross BlueShield of SC, BlueChoice, Consumers' Choice Health Plan and Coventry Health Care of the Carolinas.

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