Affordable Care Act coverage begins

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ARDMORE, OK - Back in 2010 President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, and New Years Day 2014 it takes effect.

John Tosti lives in Ardmore and just picked up prescriptions paid for by his new insurance.

"Those will actually be free under the policy instead of about 20 bucks," said Tosti.

Tosti's wife Helen helped him sign up online several weeks ago and explained why he signed up through the marketplace instead of applying for private insurance.

"Didn't qualify for medicaid or any government health care plans and we can't afford to have any other insurance," she said.

Government officials said more than two million people have enrolled in plans on state run sites and the national site. As patients continue to sign up, providers like the Good Shepherd Community Clinic are also getting ready for changes.

The clinic's Interim Executive Director Teresa Myers said all of their patients are at or below the poverty line and are uninsured. She said that although coverage is now federally mandated many of her patients would be exempt from the penalty because of their low incomes and might not buy insurance.

"Even if the cost of the insurance is something they can afford, the deductible may be four or five thousand dollars," said Myers.

And she said the clinic could soon see more patients.

"Because they no longer have options for health insurance or can't afford them because their job situation may have changed or their health care options through their work may have changed," Myers said.

But for Tosti having insurance will make life easier.

"It'll make the costs more even so there isn't real highs or lows," Tosti said.