Those Obamacare 'exchanges' went on line on Tuesday, and, despite some reported glitches, local doctors say most patients had good luck searching out the health plans which are available to them under the program.
"We know that one in every four San Antonians do not have health insurance," said Dr. Ernesto Gomez with Centro Med. "In some areas of our city, the ratio is one in three."
Dr. Gomez says a lot of people will be eligible under the program to get insurance for the first time, and many of those will receive taxpayer subsidies to help them pay for the premiums.
"There is an eligibility criteria based on income and family size," Dr. Gomez said. "Those who would be eligible are those who are between 100% and up to 400% of the poverty level."
These aren't just poor people who are eligible for the subsidies. Currently, a family of four making as much as $94,000, a solid middle class family, will be eligible for subsidies under Obamacare.
Dr. Gomez says Obamacare is literally life savings.
"The life expectancy of the uninsured is shorter than those who have insurance," he said. "There are indeed very dire consequences for being uninsured."
Doctors who work with the poorest San Antonians say getting them into the mainstream health care system will relieve the financial burden on University Hospital and other public facilities, potentially paving the way for property tax decreases.