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If you or people you know need health care now, signing up for Affordable Care Act health coverage must be done by Dec. 15 in order to be covered by Jan. 1. If by chance you miss that date, all is not lost. The Miami Herald reports that first-time Obamacare consumers without insurance can still sign up for coverage by Jan. 15, but their insurance plan won’t kick in until Feb. 1.

People who signed up for coverage in 2014 will automatically be re-enrolled in the same insurance plan if they have not picked a new one by Dec. 15, but the Herald notes that this could be risky, since some insurance companies have adjusted their rates.  

"For some plans in which consumers enrolled last year, the prices have gone up, and for others, they’ve gone down," Judy Clauser, project director for the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida, told the Herald.

According to Clauser, it is best to shop plans to find the best fit for a customer's medical requirements, which, she told the Herald, may mean "looking beyond monthly premiums."

"It's also important to make sure your income information is up-to-date because that’s how the government calculates your subsidy," Clauser said.

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According to the Herald, since open enrollment began on Nov. 15, some 1.38 million people have signed up for affordable health care insurance plans.

Read more at the Miami Herald.