Money Talks News: Confused About Healthcare Reform -- 4 Things You Need to

The Affordable Care Act - also known as ObamaCare - represents the biggest change to health care in this country since Medicare. And it's leaving many with more questions than answers.

Some parts of the law have already kicked in. On October first, state insurance exchanges are going to open.

On January 1st, 2014, much of the law is in place.

So if haven't learned what's going to happen with Obamacare, now's the time to start figuring it out. Here are the answers to four common questions.

First, will you be affected? If you already get health insurance at work, and you're OK with it, you're good.

You don't need to do anything. But if you're one of the millions of Americans without insurance, you'll probably be required to get it. You'll be able to shop it in state insurance exchanges.

Next... Will Uncle Sam cover part of the cost? Answer: maybe. If you buy on an exchange, individuals making up to $45,960 and a family of four making up to $94,200 will qualify for government help. There are online calculators, like this one from The Kaiser Family Foundation, that will help you figure it out.

Another question: What if I just refuse to do it? Well, unless you're exempt, you might be paying a fine. In 2014, that fine will be $95, or 1 percent of your income, whichever's greater.

But it gets bigger after that. By 2016, it's $695 or 2.5 percent of income, whichever's greater. And that's just for individuals. It's more for families.

And finally, what will it cost? Rates will depend on your age, where you live, whether or not you smoke and the type of coverage you want. But you can learn a lot more at

Bottom line... just like health care, health care reform can be complicated.

But if you're going to be affected, now's the time you've got to start figuring it out and I can help.

Just go to and do a search for "Obamacare."

For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.