ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. -

Private or public? That's the question WDBJ7 is asking as we continue our coverage into the Affordable Care Act.

By the time March 31 rolls around, every American without health insurance will need it or you'll face a fine.

You can get insurance through the marketplace or you can get it on your own.

Roanoke Anthem broker Paul Taylor says a lot of people do not understand that this is a law and regardless of how you get it, you must get it.

He says you may be better off with a private agent simply because they've been doing it for so long.

The Affordable Care Act is thousands of pages long.

Taylor says there's a learning curve to it for everyone involved, including the navigators who are supposed to be guiding people through the enrollment process.

Many private agents in Virginia have yet to receive any information from insurance companies. Taylor suggests people be patient when it comes to enrolling simply because there is a lot to learn.

The government has navigators who help you find insurance through the marketplace.

Private insurance agents help you find insurance through private companies that are not part of the marketplace.

"An agent is there as a servant to help the client decide, give them the facts, help them decide what’s best for them and help them apply,” he said. “Navigators, how long have they been navigators? Not very long."

If you don’t have health insurance by the end of open enrollment in mid-March, you will face a fine of $95 or you will have to pay 1% of your taxable income, whichever is greater.

If you receive Medicare or Medicaid, you don't have to pay a fine.

Taylor is scheduled to hold a forum on the ACA. It's scheduled for October 16 at Famous Anthony's located on Williamson Road in Roanoke County. It starts at noon.