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      Iowa State Extension office helps Iowans understand health insurance options

      All of the changes the Affordable Care Act has brought to health care has left a lot of Iowans unsure of what step to take next.

      The Iowa State University Extension Office is hosting workshops around the area to help people better understand which insurance plan is right for them or their family. The seminar in Davis County Wednesday prepped those in attendance to know which questions to ask and know their needs when reviewing new plans.

      "I think the biggest confusion is that one of the biggest options available, [Wellmark], probably isn't involved in the marketplace this year," said Joyce Lash, Family Financial Program Specialist with Iowa State University Extension. "I think people need to know that there are reputable companies that have been approved, particularly in the state of Iowa, that are offering insurance policies and these are reputable companies and they should really take a look at them."

      Another element that has added to the uncertainty, of course, is the lingering problems with the healthcare website.

      Lash said that many people are inclined to take the fine for not having insurance rather than buying a plan because they believe it's cheaper or they don't understand the system. However, the fine is 1% of a person's adjusted gross income, so it may be more than people expect and it can increase from year to year. Eventually, Lash said, there comes a point where buying an insurance plan is the better option.

      To learn more about Iowa State Extension, click here.

      Another health care seminar will be held in Wayne County at the courthouse on November 25.