JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Enrollment begins Tuesday for the Affordable Care Act, and there are three ways to do so.

The first is online at healthcare.gov, which is the recommended method. The second is by phone at 1-800-318-2596, and the third way is a paper application to mail in.

No matter the method, experts' main piece of advice is to be patient.

"Other than what I've read in the paper or read online, there's really not a whole lot of information out there for the common person to understand about the different plans," said Tom Doan, who's confused about the ACA.

Doan isn't the only one who feels that way, but experts say that's OK.

The ACA goes into effect Tuesday and is a brand new system that is still in flight. Insurance agent Will Moody says there will be glitches and that it will be a work in progress.

The act will primarily benefit people who are currently without health insurance, but people who do have health insurance will be able to use the ACA to explore other options.

"It's basically, for most people, a dollar and cent pricing where what's going to be the best coverage for the least amount of money they have," Moody said. "So they can go into the marketplace and look at the plans that are out there and see what would be better for them."

Moody said there's a few things people should do before open enrollment begins at midnight.

Go online and research plans that are out there. Healthcare.gov is where people will sign up, but a couple other useful websites are alliance321.com and healthlawhelper.org.

Those who have an independent agent should meet with them so they can help navigate them through their options. For those who don't have an agent, many companies like Florida Blue offer free guidance.

Most importantly, experts say, don't panic. Tuesday is only the first day of open enrollment, and people have plenty of time to get help and figure out what's best for their situation. Open enrollment lasts through Dec. 15. People who sign up within that period will have an effective date of Jan. 1.

The second enrollment period is Dec. 16 through March 31. During that period, for those who sign up during the first half of a month, their coverage will be effective the next month. Those who sign up during the second half of a month will have their coverage effective at the beginning of the second month.

"I'm hoping it turns out nice because it's going to insure a lot of people that don't have insurance," Bob Dahlstrom said.

An agent with Florida Blue said he encourages people to wait until November to enroll. He said there is no advantage to signing up early and said the longer people wait, the more time they have to research which option is best for them.