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Health Care Exchanges Set To Begin Tuesday: What Does It Mean?

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There will be 53 health care plans to choose from five different companies. Oklahoma is one of 36 states where the federal government will run the insurance marketplace. There will be 53 health care plans to choose from five different companies. Oklahoma is one of 36 states where the federal government will run the insurance marketplace.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

A lot of people have questions about the looming government shutdown. One thing we do know is that a shutdown will not put the brakes on Obamacare. The state-run exchanges for those without health insurance will open as scheduled on Tuesday.

News 9 has been looking into what Oklahomans need to do to sign up for coverage.

There will be 53 health care plans to choose from five different companies. Oklahoma is one of 36 states where the federal government will run the insurance marketplace. Like shopping in a grocery store, the government wants people to pick out a health care plan to fit their needs.

The US Department of Health and Human Services made a video to illustrate the "Health Insurance Marketplace."

"I haven't heard enough about it to know exactly where to go, what to do, what steps to take," said Sherelle Johnson.

Johnson is one of the 600,000 Oklahomans without health insurance.

"My job does not offer it, and I really need it because I have different medical problems and right now, I'm going through a free clinic," Johnson said.

On Tuesday, many will be able to sign-up for health coverage in a couple of ways, such as online at www.Healthcare.gov or by calling the Department of Health and Human Services toll free number at: 1 (800) 318-2596.

The sign-up form asks for basic information, such as family size, age and income. There are 4 levels of coverage to choose from: The Bronze plan will cost the least while the Platinum plan will cost the most, but will have little out-of-pocket medical costs.

A 27-year-old individual who chooses the least expensive option can expect to pay a monthly premium of $114 dollars. A family of four that makes less than $50,000 will pay $282 for a mid-range plan.

For anyone needing help enrolling, there will be trained Navigators to guide Oklahomans through the process. Health insurance open enrollment lasts for six months after this Tuesday. Coverage begins on Jan. 1 for those who sign up by Dec. 15.

Keep in mind, you have until March 31, 2014 to enroll in a health plan or you can opt to pay a penalty later.

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