Survey after survey shows many Americans either don't know what the Affordable Care Act is, or are opposed to it. Open enrollment for the program begins in just two weeks.
The law is huge at more than 2,400 pages. It's so complicated, even health insurance experts are having trouble keeping up.
The first thing you need to know is starting October 1, those who don't have health insurance coverage provided by an employer or Medicaid will now have to purchase a health plan through a state or national exchange. In addition, many people will also qualify for tax credits aimed at easing some of the costs.
In the exchanges, there are four separate categories for plan coverage: bronze, silver, gold and platinum--ranging from least to most protective. Premiums are also adjusted for age and for smokers.
The federal government will run the marketplace, which lists the eligible plans in 35 states, including in South Dakota. But analysts say final premium costs likely won't be available until close to the October 1 launch date.
However, according to a preliminary study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, South Dakota offers the worst deals for a single 40 year old earning $30,000 a year. Tax credits are only expected to drop premiums to $168 a month. For a family of four, with two working adults, South Dakota is also expected to have the most expensive premiums in the bronze plan at $335 a month.
The best premiums can be found in Connecticut, which run as much as $200 less. By 2014, all Americans will be required to have health insurance coverage of some type or face fines. At the same time, insurance companies will no longer be able to turn away people because of pre-existing conditions.