Today is the deadline for Iowans to sign up for health insurance through the federal government if they want guaranteed coverage starting on January 1st.

While Republicans in Congress and President-elect Trump have vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, an official says those policies will be honored for the full year. Julie Brookhart, spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, says Iowans who still need insurance should sign up.

“Insurers have reaffirmed that if you enroll in a plan for 2017, you pay your monthly premium, you will have insurance through the year 2017, because they do sign yearly contracts with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services,” she says. “You will have that insurance.” Brookhart, who works in the Kansas City office, says 82-percent of current Iowa enrollees are receiving some help with paying their monthly premium. She says to select your policy carefully.

“We say you should look at your options because, even if you’re in the marketplace currently, you might find a better deal,” Brookhart says. “We know that people do every year – broader networks, lower premiums – so, we always encourage people to shop.” Elissa Balch, a health insurance specialist with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, says there are all types of plans. Some younger, healthier adults are signing up for catastrophic coverage.

“It’s still insurance, so it’s better than nothing, but it does have high deductibles,” Balch says. “The good news is that catastrophic plans do cover three primary care visits every year at no cost and they still cover the preventive benefits that the other plans do, so there is that protection.”

To have health insurance coverage on January 1st, you need to enroll today at, though the open enrollment period runs through January 31st.

(Thanks to Mike Loizzo, Nebraska Radio Network)