Will Affordable Care Act affect the already insured? - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Will Affordable Care Act affect the already insured?

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

President Obama has said it time and again - most recently, on Tuesday, the day the Affordable Care Act debuted.

"If you're one of the 85 percent of Americans who already have health insurance, you don't need to do a thing," Obama said.

But is that really true?

"We don't have to do anything but pay double," says Bob Baldwin of Huntersville. "That's all we have to do. And that's frustrating"

Baldwin just found out his insurance rates will rise drastically in January.

"Going from $313 a month to $654 dollars," he says, "and that's a surprise nobody wants."

His insurance company says Baldwin's rates will go up due to increasing costs for the company.

"They gave explanations that there's extra taxes and costs," he says. "The additional cost of now insuring individuals with pre-existing conditions and so on so forth."

It means he will most certainly have to do something to figure out how to pay for it.

"I can't afford to see increases like this," Baldwin says.

Baldwin will have to shop for other plans, and so will many others in the Charlotte area already insured by their employer, according to Cathy Graham of the Employers Association. 

"It's not true that they don't have to do anything," she says.

Graham counsels hundreds of local companies, and says many of them are debating whether they still want to offer health insurance to their employees. They're thinking maybe they should drop coverage, send their employees to the government's exchange, and pay a fine to subsidize the cost.

"It's kind of a mess right now," Graham says. "Employers are confused. I think some employers will have a knee-jerk reaction and drop their coverage and send people to the exchange without any assistance."

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