Open enrollment for Marketplace insurance ends December 15

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The open enrollment time for Marketplace health insurance began Nov. 1 and ends Dec. 15. If you sign up by then, you will have health insurance for all of 2021.

If you are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid and are not offered health insurance by an employer, you can get coverage through the Marketplace, which was created as part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as Obamacare.

Why buy health insurance? Buy health insurance because it helps pay costs when you need medical care. No one plans to get sick or hurt, but most people need medical care at some point.

Health insurance is a contract between you and an insurance company. You buy a plan, and the company agrees to pay part of your medical costs when you get sick or hurt.

Iowans can use healthcare.gov to apply for and enroll in health insurance, but there are 13 states that have set up their own marketplace.

You will usually pay a premium every month for health coverage, and you may also have to meet a deductible each year. A deductible is the amount you owe for covered health care services before your health insurance or plan begins to pay. The deductible may not apply to all services.

How much you pay for your premium and deductible is based on the plan you choose. Just as important as the premium cost and deductible is the co-payment or how much you have to pay at the point of care.

Ann Cochran is the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.

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