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Understanding The Affordable Care Act: Individual Mandate

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Monday begins a 10-part series on the impending implementation of President Barack Obama's signature domestic initiative, the Affordable Care Act.

As WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reported, the so-called individual mandate, the centerpiece of the legislation, goes into effect on Oct. 1.

"If you don't have health insurance coverage, you are going to be required to have health insurance coverage next year," said Sara Collins, who heads the Affordable Health Insurance Program at the Commonwealth Fund.

Understanding The Affordable Care Act: Individual Mandate

Under the law, plans will be bought on exchanges set up by the states or, in New Jersey's case, the federal government.


"You'll be able to go for the first time to a marketplace and choose a plan. You'll be able to know what the plan covers, you'll be able to see the premium and find out what the deductible is and you can find out whether you're eligible for a federal subsidy to pay for that plan," said Collins.

The savings will depend on younger, healthier people buying in.

"I'm just worried about the cost because, again, I'm still unemployed. Can I afford the cost of this new enrollment?" Tanisha Burnett, 29, told Diamond.

Some may choose to pay the $95 penalty, which is far cheaper than even the lowest premiums, Diamond reported.

In part two of the series, an expert will explain New York's health care exchange.

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