Video: Experts encourage insurance shoppers to look around, not panic

(NBC News) Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” has been underway for a few days now.

Ten million Americans shop for marketplace insurance, and prices have shot up in many states. The highest increase was in Iowa, up 69 percent over last year.

Still, experts are encouraging those shopping for coverage not to worry.

“Don’t be put off by these headlines about screaming premium increases,” says Kaiser Family Foundation health policy analyst Karen Pollitz. “Really look and see what’s available to you. You may be pleasantly surprised. ”

Most people get subsidies, and those subsidies go up dollar for dollar. So if your plan costs more, you’ll get more to pay for it.

“People may find they can qualify for free coverage under a bronze plan and in some areas, they may find that the gold plan is cheaper than the silver plan,” Pollitz notes.

And there may be cheaper plans with the same coverage outside the marketplace.

The bottom line is, no matter what decisions are made at the White House or in Congress, advocates want people to know that they do have options.

Open enrollment is now underway at, and the site also has links to groups that can help you sign up.

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