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Some Oklahomans looking forward to ‘Obamacare’ benefits

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Starting January 1, 2014, just about everyone in the United States will be required to have health insurance, which is one of the main provisions of the Affordable Healthcare Act.

But in just a few days, Oklahomans will have the opportunity to shop around for their best options. On October 1, each state will have a kind of virtual insurance store, or "marketplace," where you can compare plans.

While our state government is not in favor of the act, Oklahomans will still be able to take advantage of the plans.

Linda Murphy, who is excited to see the options, said, "Health insurance at my age has just not been affordable."

Murphy is 59, self employed and uninsured. She is just one of the hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans who will benefit from the Affordable Healthcare Act.

For Linda private insurance has been out of reach.

She said, "I did have pre-existing conditions, which last time I checked made it $1500-$1800 a month and nobody can afford that."

She's done some checking, under the so-called Obamacare, she can get coverage for as little as $271 a month.

She said, "At least now I don't worry every day if I get some illness. At least I know I'm not going to be bankrupt and lose everything because of medical bills."

Savvy Senior Columnist Jim Miller says there is a lot of confusion about who will be benefit from this plan.

Miller said, "The healthcare market places are for people under the age of 65 who don't have health insurance. If you're 65 and older and on Medicare you don't need to listen to this at all."

He says there will be four levels of plans, bronze, silver, gold and platinum. The plans will have varying premiums and deductibles.

Miller said, "The bronze have the cheapest premiums but the highest out of pocket cost."

He says certain people will also qualify for government subsidies which will reduce their premiums even more.

Linda feels this act will actually help many Oklahomans, even some who are opposed to it.

She said, "People didn't want social security. They didn't want Medicare when it first started. They weren't happy about that, but now we all expect it and are happy about that."

We tried to reach several different state officials for information about what Oklahomans need to do come October 1; however, everyone we called denied our request for an interview.

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