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With The Painful Reality Of Skyrocketing Health-Insurance Premiums, What Can You Do?

CALABASAS (CBSLA)  —  Health-care premiums are skyrocketing. That is a painful reality.

CBS2's Amy Johnson spoke to one Calabasas mom who said she wasn't sure what her family was going to do about it.

"I opened up the mail yesterday, and  I literally had to sit down," said Jen Levinson, a mother of five.

She was referring to her new health-care bill.

"It came up that we were going to be paying 36,5 percent more.[Starting} January 1, 2018. So our private health insurance  was going from $1,800 up to $2,600 next year. That's more than my mortgage payment."

The part-time working mom and her contractor husband don't know how they'll pay the higher price for their individual policy.

"We're a family of seven. I have five boys. Even taking a lower premium for a higher deductible, that would just mean more out of pocket, for me, and we don't have disposable income," she said.

Levinson isn't alone; plenty of folks are seeing higher bills during open enrollment.

George Geldin is an independent insurance agent with his own agency in Westlake Village. He says people should check to see if they qualify for Covered California; it's a sliding scale based on family size. He also says to shop around.

"There are other carriers which have a smaller provider networks which can be less expensive," Geldin says.

Geldin also  says you should only think about your needs this year because you can switch again next year and possibly save hundreds of dollars.

"People are anticipating surgeries or higher utilization of health care. They're going to want to look at the better plans or maybe the better carriers. But other people who are saying I just want to have catastrophic coverage. They're probably just  going to look at it as, you know what, I just need to make sure my family is covered."

But Levinson isn't sure what is next.

"It just seems really unfair for the middle class, trying to earn a living. We're a dual income family, trying to pay the bills. Trying to make ends meet. And I'm really not sure what we're going to do."

The future of Covered California is unknown considering Congress' efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare, aka The Affordable Care Act.

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