One week from today the Affordable care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare goes into effect. Today, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health rallied New Jerseyans urging them to get covered and sign up for affordable health care coverage through the new marketplace.

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The open enrollment period for the first year of the new online marketplaces runs from Oct. 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. For those who enroll by Dec. 15, health coverage will begin on Jan. 1, 2014. In New Jersey, more than 610,000 people will be eligible for the new health insurance premium discounts in 2014.

“Next Tuesday, the new online Marketplace, healthcare.gov, will be open for business, providing New Jerseyans with a very simple and fast way to get health insurance that will meet their needs, their lifestyle, and their budget at any income level,” says Pallone. “Today, over 900,000 or 13% of New Jersey’s non-elderly residents are uninsured, but very soon, that number will begin to drop when hundreds of thousands of New Jersey’s hard working families can gain some peace of mind when it comes to affording their health care and getting the coverage they need.”

Something else happens one week from today. Next Tuesday, 395,000 more Garden State will be eligible for coverage through Medicaid expansion as per a provision in the ACA. This applies to people with incomes below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

“Two-thirds of the nation’s children who are uninsured are eligible for either Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program,” explains Amy Mansue, president and CEO, Children’s Specialized Hospital. “Their parents are working but do not have insurance and therefore they think their children don't have access to health coverage,”

If you have questions about the ACA, you can call 1-800-318-2596. That toll-free hotline is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To find health coverage go to www.healthcare.gov.