3 Things to Know as Healthcare.gov Open Enrollment Starts Nov. 15

Getting affordable health insurance can make a world of difference to children, parents, and other Texans. It can mean a child gets back to school fast when he’s sick, a Texas women gets healthy before she’s pregnant, and a family avoids the crushing stress of going bankrupt from medical bills.

Starting November 15, more Texans will be able to get insured as the federal health care Marketplace begins its second open enrollment (OE2). During open enrollment, anyone who is uninsured or has insurance that doesn’t meet their budget or needs can explore their options and buy coverage in the Marketplace. (Outside of open enrollment, you can only get Marketplace insurance if you change jobs, have a baby, or experience another qualifying “life event,” although CHIP and Medicaid for kids, people with disabilities, seniors, and pregnant women is available year-round.)

Nine out of 10 uninsured people are unaware of the next open enrollment period, so we need all hands on deck to help spread the word.

Here are three things everyone should know about OE2:

1. Basic information, including dates. OE2 will run from November 15 to February 15, half the duration of the last one. Here’s more on the timelines. General information is available at getcoveredamerica.org.

2. It’s affordable. Uninsured Americans frequently cited the perceived costs of ACA insurance as a top reason for not signing up. They should know that over 80% of Texans who got insurance through the Marketplace last time received financial assistance. More details on financial assistance are available here.

3. One-on-one, face-to-face help is available. You can look here for assistance locations in your  community. Of course Texans can also explore their options and buy insurance through healthcare.gov, cuidadodesalud.gov, or 1-800-318-2596.