Health Insurance Mandate Tough to Swallow for Many

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Under the Affordable Health Care Act, those who don't have health insurance will soon be required to purchase it or pay a penalty.

Many business owners will be required to provide health insurance to their employees, but not all. And the ones that will be required may choose to pay a penalty to the federal government instead of offering insurance.

Kim, a single mother who didn't want to give her last name, said she simply can't afford insurance, and a government mandate won't change that. She said she takes her family's health one day at a time.

"So far, knock on wood, we're both healthy," said Kim. "But it's just a gamble that I'm having to take. I do the best that I can."

Kim isn't alone. According to, Texas has the lowest percentage of people with Health Insurance coverage in the country. That's about one in four residents left unprotected.

The cost of insurance for an individual can vary greatly. Factors to consider are age, tobacco usage and geographical location. Health care may cost more in a larger city than it does in smaller areas.

Sharon Brown is the owner of Brown and Company in south College Station. They work as a broker between the insurance company and the buyer. Brown said there is help for people who need it.

Brown said there will be an application posted on for people to fill out.

"And there's one application," Brown said. "And through that application, they'll find out whether they qualify for a subsidy or cost sharing allotment."

Brown said to make sure you have your financial information on hand before you fill out the application.

Brown said it's important to educate yourself before you try to buy insurance. She said companies like hers offer help to the public, free of charge. You can also visit for more information.