(Springfield, Mo.-- 11/02/17) If you don't have health insurance, now is the time to sign up and you've got to act quickly. Open enrollment has begun for this year under the affordable care act, but the time period is much shorter than in the past.
FOX5 spoke to experts about what you need to know when choosing your health care plan for you and your family.
Public healthcare is back for another year, despite reservations on capitol hill, but this time around residents across the Ozarks have half the time to enroll.
"At this point it’s still the law of the land, you’re still being offered help to pay for it and what better time to get insurance and take an active role in staying healthy," explains Annette Warnke, Certified Applications Counselor with Mercy Hospital.
December 15 is the deadline which leaves only 45 days to enroll. Which is why local experts like Warnke will be around to help and educate those who are uninsured and those who are re-enrolling for healthcare coverage.
"It’s crucial to not wait for the last minute because the system may say you have to provide some documents and you want to be able to get those documents in before the end of opened enrollment."
Warnke says signing up can be confusing but having the insurance is necessary
"Knowing upfront and having regular doctor care, regular check ups, regular flu shots and everything. I can’t overestimate how important it is to make sure You’re being aware of your health and being proactive."
experts feel protecting your health should be your number one priority, and there’s no better way to do that than to have health insurance.
"The value is inmeasurable to have not insurance means that you’re not going to have health screenings, you’re not going to have your blood work every year, they’re not going to be able to catch something early enough if there’s something wrong and then it’s going to be more advanced and a bigger blow to your health."
And if you're thinking about holding off on healthcare, you might want to think twice before doing so because you will be facing a penalty.
To make an appointment for Mercy's enrollment, call counselors at 417-820-0486.
Click Here for more information on open enrollment.