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Wed, March 20

Deadline for HealthCare.gov insurance approaching fast

The open enrollment period for health insurance through HealthCare.gov ends Dec. 15 for coverage starting on Jan. 1. Whether you are new to HealthCare.gov or returning, we want to make sure that Arizonans who want coverage are aware of the upcoming deadline so they don’t miss the opportunity to sign up for 2019 coverage.

We’ve made important improvements to customer service this year. We streamlined the application to simplify the signup process for consumers, improved content and help information to make it easier for people to understand, and worked to deliver better customer service. The HealthCare.gov website has performed optimally, consumers have been able to easily access enrollment tools to compare plans and prices, and the call center consumer satisfaction rate has remained at 90 percent.

Here are three things Arizona consumers need to know:

1) The deadline to sign up for coverage is Dec. 15.

Arizonans who do not enroll by the Dec. 15 deadline can’t get 2019 coverage unless they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Consumers in can visit HealthCare.gov and CuidadodeSalud.gov to preview 2019 plans and prices and sign up for coverage today.

2) Now is the time for consumers to go to HealthCare.gov or CuidadodeSalud.gov to update their information or add it for the first time, and select the plan that best meets their needs.

We are encouraging Arizonans who need health insurance to join the millions of people who have gone to HealthCare.gov and found health insurance. The plans on HealthCare.gov are comprehensive and offer:

• Annual checkups at no extra cost; and

• Coverage of doctor visits, prescription drugs, and certain preventive care with no out-of-pocket costs.

3) Nationally, average premiums have decreased and the number of plans has increased for 2019.

For the 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 website. In Arizona, premiums have dropped 10 percent for a 27-year-old consumer who buys the second lowest priced Silver plan. Consumers should compare plans and prices on HealthCare.gov; they may be able to find a plan that saves them money and better meets their health needs. More than 80 percent of Arizona consumers qualify for federal subsidies that will reduce the cost of their insurance even further.

Help is available! Arizona consumers can get help filling out their application in three ways:

• By phone. Consumers can call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). Customer representatives are available every day, except certain holidays.

• In-person help. Consumers can use the Find Local Help tool on HealthCare.gov to see if they can get in-person help in their community.

• Health insurance agents & brokers. Agents and brokers can help consumers enroll with HealthCare.gov or handle the whole enrollment process. Search for health insurance agents and brokers using the Find Local Help tool.

Greg Dill is Medicare’s regional administrator for Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and the Pacific Territories.

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