Nightly News   |  September 25, 2013

Explaining Obama’s new healthcare law

The White House has provided a first look at what the Affordable Care Act coverage might cost. NBC’s Tom Costello digs into the dollars and cents and NBC’s Dr. Nancy Snyderman offers insight into the complicated and confusing subject of healthcare reform.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> everybody in this country will be required to have health insurance next year. today the white house provided the first look t at what the insurance might cost for people who buy it through one of the government exchanges that are new. tonight, nbc's tom costello has been looking at all the numbers.

>> reporter: it's an all -out push to get the word out. the obama health care law is real and about to kick in. the government now running a contest seeking creative advertising to convince young people to buy insurance because they are critical to the program's success. beginning october 1 , anyone who doesn't have insurance can sign up through an online marketplace called an exchange.

>> starting tuesday they can go to one place where they can't be denied coverage. their premium can't be jacked up because they have a preexisting condition and the premiums will factor in tax credits they get to make the plans affordable.

>> reporter: today the white house figures on what it might cost. there would be four levels of private health care coverage. bronze, silver, gold and platinum . each with varying deductibles and co-pays. on the silver plan a single 27-year-old earn ing $25,000 a year can ex expect to pay $145 a month after tax credits . a family of four earn ing $50,000 could pay $282 a month after tax credits .

>> lower cost plans come with a lower premium but a higher deductible. people will have to make the trade-offs in calculations.

>> reporter: the older you are and the more you earn the more you pay. no tax credits for individuals making more than $46,000 a year. the charge would depend on the insurance competition in your state. a 60-year-old woman in dallas earn ing $50,000 a year could pay $575 a month for silver coverage. the same person living in indianapolis would pay about $725 a month. critics say the program doesn't offer enough options to the uninsured and coverage may be too expensive. starting next week the uninsured can get insurance and will be required to keep it or pay a penalty. tom costello, nbc news, washington.

>> for more on this we are joined by dr. nancy snyderman . we have people who understand this and you are one of them. we want to be a source of clarity for folks. have at it.

>> it's been continue server shall, complicated and it's a reason we wanted to kick off things tonight. we know it is confusing. we are starting a series of reports to clarify just what the affordable care act is all about. so i ask you tonight, feel free to send your questions to us at we'll have links on the website to explain how the law will impact you depending on where you live and we'll give you re sources to figure out what the insurance will cost you. it is going to vary state to state. finally it is important to remember if you already have insurance or medicare you are considered covered and you don't have to worry about this unless you want to look for other alternatives. this program is for people who don't currently have insurance or for people who are buying insurance on their own such as those who are self-employed. kicking it off tonight, we'll have a lot more over the days that are following.

>> it's a start. we have