New healthcare website previews Obamacare plans for 2015 - DatelineCarolina

New healthcare website previews Obamacare plans for 2015

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Rowell hopes new plans will allow him to afford healthcare. Rowell hopes new plans will allow him to afford healthcare.
The Free Medical Clinic assists patients who can not afford healthcare coverage. The Free Medical Clinic assists patients who can not afford healthcare coverage.
By: Safaniya Stevenson 

Healthcare.gov is up and running a week before people can begin to buy and renew their national health care options for 2015. The soft open of the website allows people to preview plans before enrollment begins on Nov. 15.

In the first year of Obamacare, the lowest deductible was around $6,000 despite healthcare.gov's claims to have plans with deductibles as low as $4,000. South Carolina is one of sixteen states that has an uninsured rate larger than 16 percent.

The launch of Obamacare in October 2013 also made it illegal for people not to have health care insurance. Those without insurance could face yearly fines based on annual income.

Columbia's free clinic offers free healthcare to people with no insurance. For some, clinics like these are the only option they have when it comes to seeking affordable medical assistance.

"It's a blessing man. For someone to reach out to someone that's not able to have their healthcare insurance. Like these people here...they helping us man," says Daniel Rowell.

Rowell says he has given up on trying to buy healthcare despite the threat of a fine.

A report by the Urban Institute says they hope the launch of the new health care website will bring hope to people like Rowell. They say not only will consumers have more time to review and compare plans but they will be able to find cheaper plans this year.

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