Open enrollment for health insurance through healthcare.gov ends Saturday

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"You can go to CoverAZ.org and you can literally make an appointment to sit down with an assister, or you can ask questions on the chat feature also on CoverAZ, and they will be answered", Allen Gjersvig, enrollment director at Alliance for Community Health Centers, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Thursday.

Sean Sheehan, the deputy director of the Department of Vermont Health Access, said long wait times on the phone are likely ahead of the December 15 deadline, so he encourages residents to sign up on the Vermont Health Connect website.

Last year, almost 75 percent of those enrolled in a plan through Access Health CT were eligible for a subsidy to help them pay their premiums. That same day, a crush of people tried to enroll in what was the highest traffic this open enrollment season.

For the very first time since Healthcare.gov started offering coverage, average premium rates for a benchmark silver plan in 2019 have gone down across the 39 states that use the federal platform. Consumers in can visit HealthCare.gov and CuidadodeSalud.gov to preview 2019 plans and prices and sign up for coverage today.

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Saturday is the last day for Americans in most states to buy health insurance for next year through the Affordable Care Act's marketplace. More than 80 percent of Arizona consumers qualify for federal subsidies that will reduce the cost of their insurance even further. The state ACA marketplace, Access Health CT, has already signed up about 100,000 individuals and families in the enrollment period that began in October. There are 23 more issuers on the federal Exchanges for 2019 than there were in 2018. Agents and Brokers can help consumers enroll through the Exchange or handle the whole process.

Counting the seventh week, the open-enrollment periods for this year and last year are 45 days apiece.

Plans selected now begin coverage on January 1, as long as the first premium is paid. Sign-ups for plans often referred to as "Obamacare" were down last week by 11.7 percent, or 546,000, compared to previous year, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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