How Obamacare will affect those already insured

7:10 PM, Sep 25, 2013   |    comments
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(AP image)

HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- Starting next Tuesday, 1.2 million uninsured Michiganders will be able to head to the marketplace or state exchange to find an insurance plan.

13 On Your Side is also looking at the people who already have insurance and the impact the new healthcare law will have on them.

Mike Hill, a employer consultant, says the health care law will offer more protections for those already insured, but there will also be added costs. WZZM 13 asked him about the benefits first.

"Anyone can get coverage, past experience, past claims history are not going to impact the ability to get coverage, keep coverage, and not going to impact ability to afford coverage," says Hill.

However, Hill says almost all employees that are insured will also see an increased cost. He surveyed 20 local companies and found that all of them are increasing employee insurance rates, anywhere from 10% to 40% starting next year, meaning less money in employee paychecks.

RELATED: Policies on Michigan's health exchange to cost less than elsewhere

Hill says there are three main reasons for the increase. First, insurance rates are increasing every year anyway. Second, there are new taxes and fees included in the health care law. Hill says there will also be additional coverage required under the law, which will offer better protection and higher costs for employers.

"Now, the only option is you can only pick option A or option A and pay more for it," says Hill.

Hill says some small business, 15 or fewer employees, plan to drop health care coverage altogether. However, insurance companies say no employees will be impacted this year and in some cases, the insurance exchange can be a better deal.

"They may be able to find a situation where the insurance is more affordable for them if their employer drops coverage," says Hill.

If an employee already has insurance through their company, experts say in most cases they should keep it because they will share the cost with their employer. If they opt out of that coverage and go to the exchange, they will pay the full price.

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