Affordable Care Act

Mallory Falk

Monday marks the first deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Throughout the country, health care navigators are helping people with the enrollment process. In New Orleans, they're working hard to reach as many people as possible, spending time outside shopping malls, corner stores... even the airport.

Jason Saul / WWNO

President Barack Obama visited the Port of New Orleans on Friday, Nov. 8, delivering a speech on the state of the economy and the vitality of the nation's ports, and touching on future infrastructure spending and the Affordable Care Act.

The full text of the President's remarks, as provided by the White House Press Office:

Problems with the website set up for the Affordable Care Act doesn’t mean people can’t sign up for health insurance. Applications can still be made on paper.

The health insurance marketplaces are finally open, though technical problems have hindered sign-ups.

With the deadlines for having health insurance looming, people want details about the available plans and access to health savings accounts. Some also want to know about penalties if they don't buy insurance. Here are some recent questions and answers.

Jesse Hardman

Hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents don’t have health insurance. The number ranges from about 600,000 to 900,000.

The federal health insurance exchanges opened for enrollment on Oct. 1. The idea is to get uncovered people into an insurance plan, with a mix of government subsidies and a co-pay from the recipient. However, many people below the poverty line will still need to rely on Louisiana’s safety net hospitals. 

Stockphoto.com via NPR

Nearly all Americans will be required to have health insurance starting Jan. 1, 2014, or else they'll be liable for a tax penalty.

Even now, there is quite a bit of confusion about the law and how it will work. The administration has even enlisted former President Bill Clinton to serve as the law's explainer in chief.

This is one of several explainers to help consumers navigate their health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act, or as some call it, Obamacare. Click here for answers to other common questions. Have a question we missed? Send it to health@npr.org. We may use it in a future on-air or online segment.

Could I be eligible for Medicaid now?

This is one of several explainers to help consumers navigate their health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act, or as some call it, Obamacare. Click here for answers to other common questions. Have a question we missed? Send it to health@npr.org. We may use it in a future on-air or online segment.

Do employers have to do anything different under the Affordable Care Act?

This is one of several explainers to help consumers navigate their health insurance choices under the Affordable Care Act, or as some call it, Obamacare. Click here for answers to other common questions. Have a question we missed? Send it to health@npr.org. We may use it in a future on-air or online segment.

I am on Medicare. Do I need to use one of the new health insurance exchanges?

This week, the online insurance marketplaces created by the new health care law launched across the country. Here & Now checks in on Washington state, where the new marketplace is called the Washington Health Plan Finder.

The site acts as an application portal for Medicaid, in addition to selling competing insurance plans with federal subsidies.

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