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Checking out health plans at the library - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Checking out health plans at the library

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MORRISVILLE, Vt. -

In the basement of the Morristown Centennial Library Saturday children are checking out books for the rest of the week.

Upstairs adults who need guidance picking a new health plan checked out their options.

"There's been a lot of interest but we're still finding people that just have no idea this is happening and they need to go in to the exchange," said Cindy Locke with the Lamoille Region Chamber of Commerce.

Navigators, trained to explain the various options, are spending nights and weekends answering questions. "The questions are coming down to the differences between the plans," Locke said.

Johnson resident Rob Maynard said, "I've started to narrow down my plans and I'm trying to get the details worked out,"said Rob Maynard of Johnson.

Johnson attended his second forum Saturday. He plans on entering the exchange as an individual and says his new plan will cost less than his old one. "I think it's just time to pull the trigger, go online and sign up," Maynard said.

Sue Haney, a North Hyde Park Resident said, "This meeting I came to because I didn't think I was going to have to do it and I wanted to be able to find out some information,"  said Sue Haney of North Hyde Park. Haney recently lost her job and says on top of looking for work she needs to find coverage by the end of the month -- and expects to pay more. "I did have a fairly high deductible but it was very reasonable and now I'm looking at some heavy charges," she said.

The percentage of Vermonters who have selected a plan is higher than in any other state but represents less than four percent of those expected to enter the exchange.

The deadline for having coverage has been pushed to the end of March, but navigators say ever-evolving rules and a lack of broad understanding may require more time. "It just seems to me that it would really help out businesses if we could keep our insurance for the entire 2014 while the bugs are worked out of the system," Locke said.

Those here Saturday say navigators helped them understand just what goes into every plan, but picking one is anything but child's play.

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