What you should know when enrolling in health care

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Open Enrollment is underway for the Affordable Care Act, some are facing big rate hikes - and fewer insurers to choose from.

Obamacare supporters say the law has helped around 20 million people to get health insurance.

Sorting through the coverages and costs can be confusing and whether you get insurance through Obamacare or the company you work for, experts say to do your homework before you start the enrollment process.

Gina Harper is a health care counselor.

"This year is going to look completely different," Harper said.

She said one of the biggest changes mostly everyone will see is an increase in premiums, especially if you plan to enroll through the Affordable Care Act.

"Prices are going up, yes," she said. "We've been told a twenty-five percent increase and that is right on for this area, that is what we've seen."

Harper said in some cases tax credits may offset some of those increases.

No matter where you get your health insurance, Harper said you really need to weigh out your options.

Remember, having a lower deductible means you'll pay more out of pocket at the doctor's office.

Harper said make sure the physicians and hospitals you prefer accept your insurance.

"A lot of policies have zero coverage," she said. "So if you accidentally just go to a different doctor or make an appointment with someone who is not, they may not take your insurance at all and you might end up paying one hundred percent of it."

While the process can be confusing, even frustrating, Harper stresses don't become complacent when it comes to you and your family's health.

"There's so many 'ifs' out there, but bottom line is it's personal to you," Harper said. "It's your personal health and I'm going to say take that time because you owe that to yourself to do that for you and your family."

If you plan on enrolling for 2017 Affordable Care Act, you have until December 15 to get online and apply or schedule an appointment at your local healthcare office.

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