Affordable Care Act: Buy insurance or pay the fine? - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Affordable Care Act: Buy insurance or pay the fine?

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As the president's health care overhaul continues to roll out, many people are finding reason for concern.

Some tell Newsline 9 they're even scared to buy health insurance.

Kristine Kuenzi lives in Caroline in Shawano County. She takes care of her disabled son, Stephen. It's a full time job.

Because of that, she doesn't work, meaning she doesn't have much money left over after all the bills.

"About fifty bucks a month," she said.

That's why she's terrified to buy health insurance. The prices she's seen online are way more than what she has to pay.

"If you're looking at insurance out of pocket of $100-$600, what do I live on?" Kuenzi said.

The Affordable Care Act—also known as Obamacare—does offer some help. If you buy insurance on the marketplace, you can get subsidies which basically reduce your payments for monthly premiums.

Who's eligible for this? Anyone from an individual making around $11,000 all the way to a family of 8 making around $158,000.

Healthcare.gov links to a calculator so you can figure out what subsidies you may qualify for. You can plug in information about you or your family and hit submit.

But even with these subsidies, not everyone is rushing to buy insurance.

"I've never had health insurance," said Stacey Ulrich of Wausau. She says she's willing to keep it that way.

"The one price I seen scared me away, and it was over $300 a month," said Ulrich. "I can't afford that. I can barely afford to keep food on my table."

Those who don't buy insurance may have to pay a fine. The fine is $95 next year and goes up each year after that.

Ulrich says she's ready to pay the fine.

"I'm going to hold my guns as long as I can," she said.

A recent Gallup poll showed one in four Americans also plans to pay the fine rather than buy insurance.

Kuenzi would rather not pay the fine. She says she'd like to have health insurance.

"If our entire family got it, it would help," she said.

The only question for her is how to pay for it since every dollar counts.

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