What you need to know about Obamacare - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

What you need to know about Obamacare

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Obamacare launches in California Tuesday, despite parts of the federal government grinding to a halt.

A special event will be held at Veteran's Plaza in Ocean Beach at 10 a.m., marking the launch of a key part of the Affordable Care Act. Opening Tuesday is California's Health Insurance Marketplace, which means anyone who isn't already covered can begin applying for health insurance.

"There's just a lot of uncertainty it seems like, which is not a very good thing," said San Diegan Chiara Carnelos.

San Diegans Jeff Carnelos and Chiara Carnelos, along with their five-month-old son, are already covered through private insurance.

"We are already paying for people who don't have insurance - so we might as well give them the opportunity to pay for themselves and make it accessible. It's ridiculous that it's not," continued Carnelow.

For Californians without insurance, beginning Tuesday, they can sign up through Covered California, the state's health insurance marketplace. Its website offers side-by-side cost and benefit comparisons of all available insurance plans.

Through Covered California, applicants can also determine if they qualify for assistance in paying for their insurance. For example, an individual making less than $45,960 could qualify for some help, as could a family of four making less than $94,200.

Plus, there's also a price to pay for not having health insurance by January 1, 2014. An annual fine of one percent of your income or $95 per person, whichever is greater. In 2016 that increases to 2.5 percent of your income or $695 per person

There are some exemptions to the penalty for not having health insurance. For example, if you're uninsured for less than three months of the year, if the cheapest coverage available to you would cost more than eight percent of your income or even if you're part of a religious sect that objects to insurance, including social security and Medicare.

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