By Taylor Tepper and Kara Brandeisky
October 25, 2016

It’s that time of year again: Open Enrollment has begun!

But what does that mean, exactly?

It means that it’s time for you to pick a new health care plan. If you’re signing up for Obamacare (or the Affordable Care Act), you can sign up starting Nov. 1. If your employer offers plans, the dates may vary, so keep an eye out. But don’t wait too long to choose a plan! Once you sign up, you can only change your health coverage if you experience a big life change, such as having a baby.

Before you sign up for any plan, if you want to keep your doctor (and not pay extra to see him or her), make sure your doctor’s practice is in-network. Out-of-network doctors cost the insurance companies more, which ends up costing you more in the long run. So doublecheck with all your doctors to see what plans they accept.

You’ll also want to check out the cost of premiums and deductibles when you sign up. Premiums are what you pay every month to have health insurance. Deductibles are what you pay for health care before your insurance kicks. Premiums may seem like a lot, but you need to watch out for deductibles, too.

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