PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Tuesday, Oct. 1, is the first day uninsured Americans can sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, often known as Obamacare.

“Tomorrow this country makes history,” Dr. Karen Wolk Feinstein told KDKA money editor Jon Delano.

“It’s been far too long when our citizens aren’t covered,” she said. “We have so many citizens who are uninsured.”

Feinstein is president of the Pittsburgh Health Initiative, and she says the process to sign up for health insurance is pretty simple.

“It’s a three-page application,” she said. “It’s made easy. There are people to help you in person or with a phone to help you fill out your application. You can do it by mail, by phone, by email.”

If you already have health insurance through Medicare or an employer, nothing changes on Tuesday.

But those without insurance can go to www.healthcare.gov and check out 36 private health insurance plans with a wide range of coverage and prices.

Those earning under $49,000 are eligible for a price reduction in premiums.

Open enrollment begins Oct. 1 and ends Dec. 15 for health insurance that starts Jan. 1.

Here’s another important fact:

Even if the government shuts down over Obamacare, for Pennsylvania’s 1.2 million uninsured residents, they can still go online to these exchanges and sign up for insurance.

“This is happening tomorrow.” said Weinstein, “Regardless of a government shutdown, the exchange will roll out, unless something that nobody knows about happens, I think the commitment is pretty hard and fast.”

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