Insurance experts explain how to select health coverage plan that's right for you

PULLMAN, WA - President Obama defended his Affordable Care Act Tuesday night and urged the nation to get covered by the March 31st deadline.

Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains what that means for people who don't already have coverage through an employer or family member.

"For decades, few things exposed hard working families to economic hardship more than a broken healthcare system," said President Barack Obama. "And in case you haven't heard, we're in the process of fixing that."

While the President encouraged the nation to get insured during his State of the Union Address Tuesday night

"That's why tonight, I ask every American who knows someone without health insurance to help them get covered by March 31st," said President Obama.

Local insurance experts spoke at Washington State University about how to get covered before the deadline, and avoid the "individual mandate" penalty.

"It is important to make sure when you're selecting a plan that it's affordable to you," said Brown and Brown Insurance Broker Kelly Chavez. "That it's within your budget, and you can continue paying the premium on a regular basis because it really doesn't do you any good if it gets so expensive that you have to drop it mid-year."

Insurance Broker Kelly Chavez explained that it's important to find a plan that fits your individual needs

"So if the premium is really cheap, but you have to pay out thousands of dollars if you're hospitalized, and you can't' afford to do that, it might not be the best policy for you," said Chavez.

Washington Health Benefit Exchange Representative Curt Fackler spoke about Washington Health-plan-finder.

"Overall, this state, we're one of the best in the nation," said Fackler.

He explained that most people who are using the state's exchange are signing up for Medicare since it's now based on taxable income. Both speakers recommended finding a qualified professional to help find the correct insurance, and to understand the Affordable Care Act.

"There's 2,100 pages of the bill, probably enough regulations and rules and everything to fill this room up," said Fackler. "So when you do something this big, there's some really good things, there's some so-so things, and some really bad things."

Those who don't get health insurance coverage could face an "individual mandate" penalty, which is one percent of your yearly household income, or $95 per person for the year.