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ON YOUR SIDE: Things to Know About Obamacare Exchange
COLUMBUS (Chris Vanocur/Ken Hines) -- More than a million Ohioans can start signing up for health insurance on Tuesday, when the state's Obamacare exchange opens for business.
Here are five things you should know if you are interested in purchasing coverage via the exchange:
#1 - SIGNING UP
Enrollment starts October 1, and runs through the end of March.
However, you must sign up by December 1 if you want your coverage to go into effect on January 1, 2014.
#2 - WHERE SHOULD YOU START?
On this website, you will find information about plans, enrolling, and other issues related to the exchange.
#3 - THE PLANS
Be forewarned, you may find a lot of health insurance options on the exchange. Study them, and be sure to ask for help if you need it.
"Some regions in Ohio will have around 30 or more qualified health plans from which to select," said Amy Rohling McGee of the Health Policy Institute of Ohio. "There's one region in the state that will have, I think, 116 qualified health plans."
#4 - COST
The price of the plans will depend on where you live; subsidies and tax credits may be available.
#5 - WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON'T SIGN UP?
You'll have to list that choice on your 2014 tax returns, which could result in a penalty of as much as 1% of your salary.
Most Ohioans will continue to receive their health insurance from employers, Medicaid, Medicare, or the Children's Health Insurance Program.
That means roughly 10 percent of Ohio's population will soon have to make some decisions regarding the Obamacare exchange.