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Answers available for those wondering about Obamacare costs

(Source: MGN) (Source: MGN)
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(RNN) - After a disastrous launch in October 2013, enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is creeping up. But questions remain about its affordability, how to sign up and what happens if you don't sign up by the deadline of March 31.

Here are a few answers and places you can visit on the web to get helpful information:

Those who fail to sign up are subject to a penalty of $95 for an adult, or one percent of your income, whichever is highest. A person making $50,000 a year would pay $500, example. The penalty for each uninsured child is $47.50, and the family maximum is $285, according to the Kaiser Family

The penalty is enforced by an IRS tax code, and is paid through a reduction in returns on your taxes. For more information, check here.

In the wake of the confusion surrounding the launch of healthcare.gov, three young programmers in California created a free website that is simple, easy to use and contains carefully vetted information that helps consumers quickly and easily find quotes on healthcare based on income and eligibility.

Healthsherpa.com asks only for your zip code, and takes you immediately to the cost of the various plans, along with information about how to proceed with enrollment.

You cannot sign up for insurance though healthsherpa.com. But it is an excellent first stop. Healthsherpa.com declares that it is not affiliated with any lobby, trade group or government agency and has no political agenda.

The Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonpartisan organization that offers analysis, communication and information on health policy. It contains a wealth of information, but if all you are interested in is how much you have to pay for ACA coverage, visit the Subsidy Calculator.

It will quickly illustrate the cost of coverage based on your state of residence, income, whether or not employer-provided healthcare is available, how many people are in your family and their ages and whether you use tobacco or not.

It instantly calculates the government tax subsidy you can receive based on income and gives you an annual cost for the premium, based on which plan you choose.

The much-maligned healthcare.gov site has improved since its infamous launch.

The site now offers a much more intuitive experience and you will easily be able to find costs of individual plans, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximum costs. You can apply for insurance directly from this official website.

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