What you need to know before selecting new health insurance plan - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

What you need to know before selecting a new health insurance plan

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TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

For those who have signed up for new health insurance plans through the federal marketplace, coverage begins as soon as next week.

But not all hospitals and doctors will accept all plans that are being offered. So when you're scrolling through your options, it's important to pay close attention.

"Before they think, oh I want the HMO option, they need to see if the doctors and hospitals will even accept the HMO option, because they may not and people need to know that," said Wendy Bratteli of the Texas Association of Health Underwriters.

For example, Trinity Mother Frances has announced that it will accept new Affordable Care Act plans, but only PPO plans provided through Blue Cross Blue Shield.

On the flip side, Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview will be an in-network provider for only Blue Cross' HMO coverage.

ETMC and Longview Regional Medical Center said they will accept both types of plans offered on the exchange. LRMC added, "we look forward to the opportunity to serve more local residents, as previously uninsured people gain access to medical coverage and essential health services."

But experts said whatever route you choose, it's important to double check you won't be dropped by your current provider.

"Who is advising them at Healthcare.gov needs to understand the market," Bratteli said. "They need to understand the hospitals and they need to understand the doctors. You will not find that with a navigator, you will not find it. If you want to know your area and you want to know the hospitals and insurance, you need to seek out a private broker. You really do."

Individuals have until March 31 to purchase coverage without facing penalties. For those looking to be covered by the beginning of 2014, enrollment must be completed by Tuesday evening.

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