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HealthCare.gov enrollment deadline nears

Heading into the final days before the Dec. 15 deadline for Jan. 1 coverage, over 2.8 million consumers selected a plan in the HealthCare.gov platform as of Dec. 5 including 23,224 in Mississippi. This includes both new consumers and consumers returning to shop for private health insurance plans sold on Healthcare.gov.

“I am pleased with the strong start to this year’s open enrollment,” Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said. “While we have more work to do, more than 1 million new consumers have signed up for affordable quality coverage in the 38 states that use HealthCare.gov. And existing Marketplace customers who have returned and shopped for a more affordable plan are paying less in premiums this year than they were paying last year.”

Open Enrollment for 2016 health coverage at HealthCare.gov began Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 31, 2016. However, it’s important to note that individuals who need coverage starting Jan. 1, 2016 must sign up by the Dec. 15 deadline.

“Time is running out to sign up for a health plan that begins on Jan. 1,” Burwell said. “With less than a week remaining before the December 15th deadline, we urge consumers to visit Healthcare.gov and get enrolled.”

Having health insurance when you can afford it is now the law. If someone chooses not to buy health insurance and could afford to do so, they are at risk of paying a fee of $695 or more.

Consumers may visit HealthCare.gov or CuidadodeSalud.gov to review their coverage options, learn about what financial assistance is available or to sign up or re-enroll in a plan that best meets their needs.

Five facts about open enrollment in Mississippi:

• Since open enrollment began on Nov. 1, 23,224 Mississippi consumers have selected a plan in the federally facilitated marketplace.

• Plans for 2016 are affordable, according to HealthCare.gov. Eighty-two percent of Mississippi enrollees can find plans for $75 or less a month in premiums after tax credits. Nationwide, about eight out of 10 people who enroll in health coverage through HealthCare.gov qualify for financial help to make their monthly premiums more affordable.

• For 2016, 91 percent of returning Mississippi HealthCare.gov consumers could save an average of $513 annually in premiums before tax credits for a plan in the same level of coverage by returning to shop.

• When Mississippi customers visit HealthCare.gov they’ll find a variety of quality health coverage options available. For 2016, Mississippi consumers can choose from 3 issuers and an average of 23 plans.

• Free confidential enrollment help is available if people in Mississippi have questions or want to talk through their options with a trained professional.

Visit LocalHelp@HealthCare.gov to find a listing enrollment centers and events in your community where free, confidential enrollment help is offered. Representatives at the 24-hour Call Center are available every day at 1-800-318-2596. Call Center representatives can answer questions and help people enroll in coverage over the phone.