APALACHICOLA - The federal government made some changes to the Affordable Care Act or "Obamacare" website over the weekend to help more people access the site. The deadline to sign up and receive health insurance on January 1st has been moved back to December 23rd.
61 year old George Coons is a self-employed architect in Apalachicola. He pays more than $1,000 a month for his and his wife's health insurance.
"Now that I have a huge decrease in income, I can't afford it basically. So we struggle to pay insurance," said Coons.
Coons signed up for the Affordable Care Act, then found out he could receive a tax credit of more than $800 a month for his family's premium. He's one of 90,000 people in the panhandle eligible for the subsidies.
Bay Medical Sacred Heart and Florida Health Connector officials are holding a seminar next week to answer healthcare act questions.
"There's been a lot of misunderstanding out there, a lot of misinformation. We just simply want to clear the air on that and offer them an opportunity to ask us questions and we want to answer those questions for them," said Martin Sheffield, President of Florida Health Connector.
There are two types of subsidies. One for monthly health insurance premiums for individuals that make less than $46,000 a year, or up to about $94,000 for a family of four.
The other subsidy reduces deductibles, co-payments, and total out of pocket costs for those making less than $29,000.
"I have two kids. One is still in college. We're still trying to pay off the other child's college expenses through a credit card, so these can help that tremendously," said Coons.
While those subsidies could save Coons hundreds, his insurance premiums might be going up too.
To register for Bay Medical Sacred Heart's seminar, call (850) 747-6188 to reserve your seat. The hospital's auditorium is at the corner of 6th St. and Bonita Avenue inside the medical office building.