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Your questions about health insurance exchange answered

Published On: Jul 09 2013 07:02:32 PM MDT
Updated On: Jul 09 2013 08:47:53 PM MDT
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

The Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, but starting October 1, 2013 people without health insurance need to begin enrolling.

Tuesday we spoke with Mike Fierberg with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

We had Fierberg answer questions we got from you about what Montanans can expect with the upcoming changes.

Q: "My biggest question about the health care overhaul is how it is going to affect student insurance rates?" asked Carl Hubbell.

A: "It depends on the nature of the plan that the universities offer. In general what it will do is expand the coverage that is offered to students in Montana through student health plans," said Fierberg.

Q: "What provisions will be there to make sure that premiums stay affordable for people who purchase insurance off of those exchanges?" asked Marsha Christensen.

A: "For some individuals they are likely to go up. For some individuals they are likely to go down. On average though, they are not likely to change all that much. We don't know the specifics yet and we won't know until September," said Fierberg.

Q: "When the federal mandates happen in the state of Montana, how will small businesses be affected?" asked Tanya Jorgensen.

A "Small businesses really are not going to be affected in Montana. The law does not require businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees to provide insurance at all, and there is no penalty for not doing so," said Fierberg.

Q: "What does this mean for the people and most of my friends that do not have any health care at all?" asked Amy Balbier.

A: "Great question, because a lot of people who don't have insurance in Montana tend to be younger and healthier, and don't know anything about health insurance. The object is to bring as many people as possible into the insurance pool especially people who are young," said Fierberg.