What You Need To Know About Obamacare

OMAHA (KPTM)- Obamacare, affordable care act, or healthcare reform, whatever you want to call it, depending upon what happens with this current budget battle showdown, it could be just a week away.

There's no easy way about it, the new healthcare law is complicated.

Did you know that if the whole bill and add-ons were stacked, it'd stand at 7 ft, 3 inches and weigh 300 pounds.

"So it's the Shaquille O'Neal healthcare law," laughed Andy Williams.

Williams is an insurance expert at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska.

On his white board in his office is an extensive game plan all revolving around one date, October 1st.

Starting October 1st, people will be able to pick and choose their health care coverage plans on

"People have compared it to travelocity of health insurance, but it's going to be a little more complicated than an airline ticket," said Williams.

The biggest portion of the new healthcare law requires all Americans to have health insurance by March 31st, 2014.

"It's all private insurance that will be in the market place," said Williams.

Jodie Enenbach has been fielding phone calls all day. She said the one question that everyone is asking is about money. "There is a program that offers cost assistance for customers under certain income limits, and that can't quite be determined yet. Just hang in tight and we'll know more on October 1st," said Enenbach.

Williams said about half of all Nebraskans will qualify for some type of financial assistance for health insurance.

"The less you make, the more tax credit you're going to qualify for," said Williams.

Costs could increase because there are more comprehensive benefits for the insured, insurance companies are expecting anyone who applies, and there will be more taxes and fees.

"Healthy people and people with some kind of health care condition are both going to have to get into the pool so we can offset the cost for each other," said Williams.

Insurance will cost you, but Williams said, the reason for the health care reform is to make it affordable.

Insurance plans will be required to have more extensive coverage. Three things that have to be on any insurance plan are maternity leave and newborn care, for men and women, prescription drugs, and hospitalization.

Other services that have to be covered are emergency services, mental health and substance use disorder services, rehabilitative services, laboratory service, preventive and wellness services, and pediatric service.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska has a 'Five Things You Need to Know,' about the health care reform. To see the brochure, click here.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska is having a free information session about the new law October 17th at the Ramada Plaza Convention Center on 72nd street from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.