Affordable Care Act

President Barack Obama's administration has announced more than $1.4 million in grants for Alabama organization helping people shop for and enroll in the federally operated health insurance exchange in Alabama.

Consumers are supposed to be able to start shopping Oct. 1 for policies that will begin Jan. 1.

Alabama is getting 73 cents per person to help residents understand the Affordable Care Act and decide if they want coverage through a health insurance exchange.

Federal funding figures show Alabama's amount is lower than many states because Gov. Robert Bentley decided not to create a state-run health insurance exchange and is leaving it to the federal government. That meant Alabama's state government didn't seek any of the millions available for outreach and advertising.

The Alabama NAACP is planning a rally Saturday at the Capitol in Montgomery to show its support for the Affordable Care Act.

Organizers say the rally is also to express concern about Gov. Robert Bentley not using the law to expand Medicaid coverage in Alabama.

A big deadline is looming today for state's like Alabama. Washington wants to know which states plan to create their own health insurance exchanges, as part of the Affordable Care Act. Each state that says “no” will leave that job up to the federal government. Today's deadline comes just days after the University of Alabama at Birmingham released a report related to the expansion of Medicaid under the act. The report says if Alabama opts into the Medicaid expansion, it could mean a billion dollars in new tax revenue for the state.

State of Alabama

Alabama's governor isn't changing his mind about not operating a health insurance exchange even though President Barack Obama's administration has given states an extra month to decide.

Friday was supposed to the deadline for states to decide if they would run an exchange under the Affordable Care Act or let the federal government do it. The Obama administration announced Thursday night it was extending the deadline to Dec. 14. The extension came at the request of some Republican governors.