ATLANTA -- Starting in 2014, nearly all U.S. families are required to buy health insurance ifthey don't already have it individually or through their employer.
Those who don't haveinsurance willhave to pay a penalty that starts at $95 per year or one percent oftheir income, whichever is more.
States will set up online exchanges where consumers can compare prices, premiums and benefits offered by various insurers.
Georgia has not yet set up the system, but if you've used a comparison shopping website likeeinsurance or even a travel site like expedia.com, the exchanges are not expected to bea lot different from those.
What if you can't afford insurance? If your family is at up to 133 percent of the poverty level, you'll be eligible for fully funded care if Georgia lawmakers follow the act's mandate and expand Medicaid to include an additional 700,000 families. That would mean a family of four making about $30,000 a year would be eligible for fully funded Medicaid.
The act also provides federal subsidies, in the form of tax credits for uninsured families with incomes of up to four times the poverty level, currently about $92,000 per year.
The Kaiser Family Foundation's website has an online calculator that will estimate the benefits the uninsured will receive under the Affordable Care Act.Click here to calculate whether you will be eligible for the subsidy.
The Congressional Budget office says overall, the average person's premium will decrease byseven to10 percent over the next few years, though not all in Congress agree with that figure.