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Affordable Care Act: What to do if you have job-based coverage

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Open enrollment starts Oct. 1 for the Affordable Care Act and it has many people asking how the new legislation will impact them.

CBS 5 Advocate Dave Cherry is bringing you the facts on the healthcare system.

If your company has more than 50 employees and you get health insurance through the company, the Affordable Care Act shouldn't affect you. You can keep the coverage you have, you won't have to pay the penalty and you don't need to take any action come Oct. 1.

You do have the right to visit the national healthcare marketplace at healthcare.gov to explore getting insurance on your own but consider this, with most big company health plans, your employer pays a portion of the premium, they don't do that if you buy your own insurance on the marketplace.

Regardless of your income, if your employer offers you coverage, you won't be eligible for a federal subsidy, meaning you'll have to pay for whatever plan you buy 100 percent out of your pocket.

For these reasons, if you have a plan through a big employer, such as outreach agencies for this rollout, just keep it.

"The intention of the Affordable Care Act was really to give healthcare options to people who were uninsured. So if someone actually has health insurance through their employer, they don't really need to do anything," said Cheryl O'Donnell with Enroll America for Arizona.

Now, if you work for a company with less than 50 employees, and they provide insurance, you should most likely keep it for the same reasons we've mentioned but a small employer can go a couple of different ways.

After they run all the numbers, they may drop their plan and buy business coverage on the marketplace and offer plans to you so you're covered that way. Or they may drop their plan and do nothing, allowing employees to now go to the marketplace and individual coverage with subsidies. This decision could work to yours and the employers benefit or not.

Small business employees are urged to talk with their bosses and ask what they plan to do come Oct. 1.

If you're an employee with job-based health coverage and you still have questions, visit cbs5az.com/healthcare or ask Advocate Dave Cherry a question on his Facebook page at facebook.com/DaveCherryCBS5.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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