HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) --Millions of people are already searching for a health insurance plan online, now that the marketplace or state exchange is officially open.
Next year, many of those who are newly insured will be heading to the doctors office and that could lead to longer lines or appointments being delayed.
Doctor David Bosscher has a full schedule at the Holland Community Health Center, but he's committed to finding room in his schedule for new patients, when Obamacare takes effect next year.
"I anticipate an extra two or three patients a day," says Dr. Bosscher, a family physician."People who really struggle to get access to healthcare are going to be able to get the basic healthcare that they need."
The Holland Community Health center already accepts patients without insurance. Many of them with serious conditions.
"With Diabetes, with heart disease, with hyper tension, people who need surgeries," says Dr. Bosscher. "A number of people who have not been able to get healthcare for a while with a lot of pent up demand are going to access the system and that's going to tax the system in some ways, whether that leads to lines or longer waits."
Currently, newpatients at Holland Community Health have to wait about 2 weeks before getting into an appointment and doctors say that could increase when the new law takes effect.
"It might be two and a half weeks, but I don't see us being overwhelmed," says Dr. Bosscher.
The health center is trying to keep next year's schedule as open as possible and also plans to hire new people.
"We're down a couple of clinicians because we had a couple people move onto other things," says Dr. Bosscher.
Dr. Bosscher says emergency rooms and urgent care centers will likely be impacted even more, because they are open 24-7.