Common questions and answers about the new healthcare law

October 1st is the first day for sign-ups under the

Affordable Care Act


As the day gets closer many questions and concerns about the the program have been raised.

In this report we take a look at just a few of them and how they could affect your healthcare coverage.

For many people one of the big challenges to getting healthcare coverage has been pre-existing conditions.

Stephene Moore the Regional Director of Health and Human Services Region 7

says that under the Affordable Care Act or ACA, pre-existing conditions will no longer be a problem.

"If you have asthma, if you have diabetes, if you have a child that has developed any kind of chronic illness or heart condition you've been diagnosed with, it's illegal now to not let somebody purchase health insurance," says Stephene Moore. "They can now be covered. So pre-existing conditions are no more."

Another common question is do I have to change my insurance if I am already insured?

"If you have insurance through your employer, you don't have to worry about the marketplace,"

Ryan Barker Vice President of Health Policy at the Missouri Foundation for Health

said. "Anybody can go on and sort of shop and compare prices. But most people that have employer based insurance are going to stay with their employer based insurance."

We also spoke with

Amy Whitcomb Slemmer

the executive Director of HealthcareForAll in Massachusetts.

About six or seven years ago the state of Massachusetts created a statewide healthcare plan under then Governor Mitt Romney.

Slemmer says that one of the biggest worries in her state was whether employers would stop offering health insurance because a publicly funded insurance would be available.

"In Mass. we actually saw the offer rate increase," Slemmer said. "So more employers now offer their employees health insurance than did before we implemented health reform in our state because they know it provides them with a competitive advantage."

Slemmer also says that contrary to many expectations, health insurance rates actually went down in her state.

"So that individuals and some small businesses had significant savings based on the fact that there were more people to insure and they had access to better services than what they currently....what they had before we implemented the law." Slemmer said.

These are just a few of the questions and concerns that have been raised over the Affordable Care Act.

Make sure you tune into KHQA's Healthcare Special at 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 19th.