12 On Your Side: Sign up deadline for Obamacare

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - 12 is on your side with what you need to know about this massive reform to health care, commonly called "Obamacare."

The big thing to know here is you don't have to rush to sign up Tuesday. There's time to understand all the changes. You truly have until December 15 to make a decision - that's your hard deadline here if you want your benefits to begin January 1.

The best place to get information is www.healthcare.gov. There's also a 24-hour hot line number listed on the website.

Starting Tuesday, there will also be face to face help available.

The Virginia Poverty Law Center received a $1.3 million grant to hire and train 20 navigators. They will work at nine sites across the state and be there to help "navigate you through the process."

"We're going to do the best we can to help people who need our services, but obviously with 20 navigators statewide, we can only provide a slice of the kind of assistance necessary," said Jill Hanken with Enroll Virginia.

States like Illinois have 1,200 navigators.

Exactly where and how to get in touch with these counselors won't be revealed on Enroll Virginia's website until the big day, October 1. There may be a wait and you might have to schedule an appointment.

Remember, under this new law, everyone is required to have some sort of insurance plan or face a fine. We are expected to get our first real look at the plans here in Virginia Tuesday.

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