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Sep 20, 2013 8:17 PM by Nathan O'Neal

Affordable Care Act marketplace near opening

TUCSON - October 1st marks the first time that people will have access to the open Health Insurance Marketplace - phasing in one of the key portions of the Affordable Care Act.

Right now, there are roughly 1 million Arizonans who do not have health insurance but will be eligible for new benefits under the new law. However, the concern is that people really don't know what to expect because there is so much misinformation out there.

The non-profit, non-partisan national campaign known as "Get Covered America" aims to spread awareness about the facts surrounding the Affordable Care Act. Their goal is to help people make well-informed decisions about their health care.

"What we're focusing on is the facts. We're going out and doing outreach and education and simply focusing on the facts," said Cheryl O'Donnell, of Enroll America.

The group is focusing on Arizona because It has such a high concentration of uninsured people. One of the key facts to know is that beginning in October, people will be able to compare coverage plans side by side including the price. There will be additional help from community groups as well.

"This is confusing and people are afraid to make the wrong decision about their health care coverage, so there will be community organizations all across Pima County that will be able to help individuals apply for AHCCCS or choose insurance on the marketplace," O'Donnell said.

October 1st is not a deadline-just the first day the marketplace will be open. In the meantime, the group is canvassing neighborhoods as part of their education outreach program.

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