HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- On Tuesday, more than one million uninsured Michiganders will be able to find an insurance plan through the state exchange or marketplace.
Many people are still trying to figure out how the new law will help with medical costs or the prescription drugs that they depend on. WZZM 13 is looking at how Obamacare will impact people when they visit the local pharmacy.
For the people who are oldest or sickest, next year's trip to the pharmacy will likely be more financially friendly, says employer benefitsconsultant Sara Julius. Under Obamacare, insurance companies can't set annual limits on prescription drug coverage
"Multiple Sclerosis treatments, injectable cancer treatments, those kinds of drugs that can cost tens of thousands of dollars per month, those individuals will benefit the most from this," says Julius.
Many elderly people who depend on prescription drugs will also benefit from the new law. Obamacare closes a "donut hole" or gap in medicare coverage.
"Medicarecovers a small amount of prescription drugs and then there's no coverage and then they cover when an individual gets to a catastrophic point," says Julius. "Healthcare is closing that gap or that donut hole, so progressively they're going to get more benefits over the next several years."
Julius says the rest of the public will help pay for the additional care, but get fewer of the benefits.
"For the person paying $30 or$40 for a prescription drug, it's not going to impact them too much," says Julius. "In general, the younger population will have to help subsidize the older and more sick population."
Julius says although additional care will cause overall health insurance to rise, prescription drug coverage is only a small contributor to the increasing rates.
One part of the healthcare law has already taken effect for prescription drugs.
Starting this year, insurance companies are required to cover women's contraceptives.