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Don't Face a Fine: Health Insurance Open Enrollment Period Begins

The health insurance marketplace is now open for enrollment until the end of January. Credit: AZ PIRG
The health insurance marketplace is now open for enrollment until the end of January. Credit: AZ PIRG
November 2, 2015

PHOENIX – If you need health insurance, now's the time to sign up.

The annual open enrollment for health insurance through the national marketplace is underway and runs through the end of January

A recent government report showed more than 900,000 Arizonans lacked health insurance as of 2014.

Allen Gjersvig, director for health care innovation at the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers, says there are a lot of subsidies available to make health insurance more affordable.

"Eight out of 10 people in Arizona last year received financial assistance,” he points out. “And the vast majority of people could have purchased a plan for $100 or less per month."

There are 600 trained counselors available in more than 400 locations around the state.

Almost 60,000 Arizonans who have a health plan from Meritus should know that the Arizona Department of Insurance just suspended the health insurance cooperative from the marketplace, and those subscribers will have to find another plan for 2016.

You can get free enrollment assistance at coveraz.org/connector.

Diane Brown, executive director of the Arizona Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, says people should shop around and ask a lot of questions.

"Since health insurance plans change every year Arizonans should make sure they know what is and isn't covered by the plan," she advises.

People who want their new insurance coverage to start on Jan. 1, have to sign up by Dec. 15.

If you choose not to get insurance, you can be fined $695 per adult or 2.5 percent of your income, whichever is greater.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - AZ