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Many questions as Obamacare exchanges go into effect

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Starting Tuesday, Americans can explore healthcare insurance options under the exchanges or Healthcare Marketplace.

But many unanswered questions have some hesitating. There are also strikingly different options in Kansas than Missouri.

Jeremy Flowers wants to know more before exploring his options under the Affordable Care Act.

"In this case, I would wait and see because you never know what you're going to get these days," Flowers said.

The plans are significantly more expensive in Missouri than Kansas in part because of the urban populations in Kansas City and St. Louis. The health plans will range from $127 to $187 a month in Kansas while the costs are an estimated $150 to $222 in Missouri.

Those 55 or older will pay more than younger Americans.

Wayne Powell, chief of staff for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City, said Missouri and Kansas have population differences as well as other factors.

"There are different taxes that are applied. There are different levels of minimum benefits that are offered. And then, of course, there are variances in our current health status from one state to the next," Powell said. "They are very different states with very different types of populations with very different utilization of healthcare services."

Kansas has more providers offering plans through the exchanges than Missouri, which also helps lower the costs.

Powell said making your healthcare decision should be about more than just the cost of the premiums.

"We need to be a lot smarter about buying insurance products and thinking about what the cost of going to the doctor will be, what the cost of buying prescriptions will be," he said.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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