Thousands of people will likely have questions on Tuesday as they begin enrolling in the government-run Health Insurance Marketplace.
The program, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, opens on Tuesday and people throughout the state have been trained to help others apply for the insurance.
Unlike many people, Andy Pederson knows a thing or two about the Affordable Care Act. Pederson went through a training course online to become a certified application counselor. Those counselors will have the answers about enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace.
"If you don't understand insurance, it can be quite confusing," Pederson said.
Pederson works at Falls Community Health. There are around a dozen certified application counselors at community health centers across South Dakota. Others work at hospitals and insurance agencies in the state. In addition, specially-trained navigators will also be available beginning Tuesday to help people sort through the four categories of Marketplace insurance plans being offered.
"Whether they go to the doctor a lot, that might mean they'd want a certain type of plan. If they don't visit the doctor often, they might need a different plan," Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas CEO Linda Ross said.
But if you don't have time to come in and see a certified application counselor, Ross is confident you can probably do it by yourself, either online or through the mail.
"It should be fairly easy for folks," Ross said.
Head over to the website, HealthCare.gov and you can start enrolling on Tuesday.
"Anyone can start at home. You can go all the way through the process by yourself if you can," Pederson said.
If you have questions, the website will save your information so you can call a counselor, like Pederson, and finish the selection later.
"It may start off a little slow as people are gathering more information, but as it picks up steam, I imagine we'll be busy," Pederson said.
If you would like to get in contact with a certified application counselor, you can call the Marketplace call center. The number is 1-800-318-2596.