By Edgar Linares

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — At least one Minnesota family is eagerly waiting for Oct. 1, so they can begin shopping for new health care coverage on Minnesota’s new health care exchange: MNsure.

Brad and Heidi Stokes pay a staggering amount each year to keep their family covered.

“Our premiums for myself, wife and son are about $1,100 a month,” said Brad Stokes .

On top of that, the couple pays the first $6,500 of health care a year, which they always use.

“That whatever $1,100 a month times twelve, plus the $6,500, that’s up towards $20,000 a year,” Brad said.

Every member of the Stokes family has a preexisting condition. Brad has had a failing liver, Heidi was diagnosed with lupus and their college aged son has Type 1 diabetes.

“Health insurance has kept me awake at night for many years,” Heidi said.

But they’re hoping on Oct. 1 all that will change with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. No longer can the Stokes family be denied health insurance due to preexisting conditions, and they’re hoping to save money with new plans offered through MNsure.

“We should see a reduction of about 25 percent if we’re going to be in the mainstream,” Brad said. “I’m looking forward to it, optimistically.”

It was three years ago when congress approved the Affordable Care Act. Since then Brad and Heidi are curious about the impact it will have on their bottom line.

“I just took a look at the prices, but I don’t know all that it offers,” Heidi said.

One thing Heidi says it will offer is piece of mind.

“They say when you have your health you have everything,” she said.

MNsure is up and running, so you can go online and check out the different insurance plans.

For more in the Affordable Health Care Act, click here.


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