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About 1.2-million Michiganders need to shop for healthcare insurance


LANSING (WKZO) -- Today is the first day you can begin shopping for insurance at the new healthcare marketplace for Michigan, but the process will take some information gathering and some research if you want to get it right.

You will need your social security number and a pay stub, or some way of proving your household income, and the same information about other household members.

Once they verify your information, you will need to know something about insurance, how a deductible works and the kind of coverage you need.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius says there are Navigators who will be available to help.  The Michigan Marketplace is being operated by the Federal Government because the legislature failed to approve it. 

The Michigan pool offers 140-different policies from 13 insurers.

The phone lines and the website...healthcare.gov, will probably be busy for the first week, so you may want to collect your data and do research before you call.

You have until December 15th to get signed up to take effect January 1st.

You have until March to avoid penalties.