Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment begins Nov. 15


Open enrollment for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act begins Nov. 15.



The enrollment period will remain open until Feb. 15, roughly half as long as last year's enrollment period. There is also a significant increase in the amount of marketplace plans offered from various companies.



With so many more plans to choose from and many citizens still unsure whether they qualify or what plan is best for them, many local organizations and businesses are making their services available to help people register for health insurance.



United Way's 2-1-1 phone service will take calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays to direct callers to the best resources for the best-suited healthcare for their qualifications, whether that be through Medicaid, CHIP, the marketplace or another option. Callers are pre-screened so that they are best matched with a health insurance route and organization to help them enroll.



"It's very overwhelming...[there are a lot of plans] to sift through," said Jessica Venson with United Way. "There are lots of subsidies available ... a lot of the clients that we serve are eligible for tax breaks or subsidies that come along with the marketplace."



Foundation Communities is one of the many organizations that is providing in-person help to people wishing to enroll with certified counselors. The organization provides assistance to individuals and families by helping manage their finances.



When people assume that they are not eligible, they automatically disqualify themselves from receiving quality healthcare, Nora Cadena with Foundation Communities said.