Start thinking about health care open enrollment

Published On: Jul 07 2014 03:18:16 PM EDT   Updated On: Jul 08 2014 06:45:00 AM EDT

If you were overwhelmed by the open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act earlier this year, experts say you should use the summer to start preparing for the next open enrollment.  Most people will be required to have health insurance starting this year, or pay a penalty.

The first open enrollment ended March 31. Kansas State University experts say many people didn't sign up because they didn't understand the costs.

"The premiums people were seeing online scared some people away from purchasing a policy in the marketplace but they didn't understand that the policy would not be that expensive for them, that one of the things that happened with the Affordable Care Act is that there are going to be ways to supplement certain families who had a low enough income to pay for those premiums and to pay for those out of pocket expenses," explained Kansas State University Community Health Expert Roberta Riportella.

"Individual responsibility payment does increase every year so it might not seem like very much this year, the first year, but it does increase every year and the other part about that is if you are still uninsured, even if you pay the individual responsibility payment, you are also on the hook 100 percent for any healthcare costs that you might have so it's not a substitute for not buying insurance," said Elizabeth Kiss, a financial planner with KSU.

One of the most common causes of bankruptcy is health care cost.  Open enrollment for 2015 begins November 15, 2014.

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