Confused Iowans Get Answers About the Affordable Care Act

The folks in Washington aren't the only people trying to figure out the Affordable Care Act.

Tuesday night, several state officials came to Sioux City to discuss what Obamacare and the online marketplace mean for Siouxlanders.

Some Iowans who were frustrated with and the new healthcare regulations met at Mercy Medical Center for one of 20 town hall meetings, which hopes to help people make sense of the changes.

People at the meeting said ultimately they just want answers to questions that no one's been able to answer so that they can move forward and get insured.

"Well, I would love to be insured but I'm just not sure of how to do that yet," said local Candace Payer.

"We don't know what the coverage is, what benefits or what costs or anything," echoed Gary Trapp?

Many of their concerns we're answered.

Those on Medicaid or Medicare will remain on their benefits and don't have to change policies.

But, those with IowaCare will be under a new policy through the state.

Those who are uninsured must enroll in a policy by 2014; otherwise, you'll face a tax penalty of $95 dollars per uninsured person or 1 percent of your annual income.

Nearly 40 marketplace options are one way to avoid that penalty and they range from catastrophic plans for those under 30 to the more basic coverage.

"For everybody else to look at, there are plans that are available that are metal tier level plans. Starting at platinum is the highest value plan it goes down to bronze. Bronze is the least coverage you can have to avoid the penalty or the mandate. And so when people get on there they're going to look at bronze is going to be the cheapest monthly premium but the highest out of pocket expense. Platinum is going to be the most premium that least out of pocket expense," Nick Gehart, Iowa insurance commissioner.

Officials say while it may be complicated the new laws and policies will be effective, but now it's Iowans who will be the judge of that. OR