Need individual insurance? Enrollment is open

Open enrollment is now open for people who plan to buy personal health insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces.

Enrollment is Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 and insurance plans will go into effect Jan. 1.

About 196,806 Ohioans signed up for individual health plans during last year’s open enrollment.

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Consumers looking to obtain coverage can contact the federal exchange in Ohio directly by visiting healthcare.gov or by calling 800-318-2596.

Premiums for 2021 will be relatively flat for Ohioans who buy health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace and more counties in Ohio will have more options to chose from this open enrollment period as well.

The average annual premiums for the individual market for 2021 is projected to be $5,671, compared to this year’s$5,690.

While premiums have been leveling off, they are still on average a steep hike from the average $2,650 premium in Ohio in the inaugural year of the exchange in 2013.

However, individual companies' rates will vary from the average. Many people also qualify for subsidies that offset the cost of premiums.

Some organizations receive federal grants to help people sift through their options.

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Locally, HRS ERASE received a federal grant to provide free enrollment assistance in the marketplace to all Ohioans, starting on Nov. 1 and continuing thru Dec. 15.

They have four federal certified navigators who can assist Ohioans in finding a plan and can be reached at 855-894-2711.

Dayton-based Five Rivers Health Centers can also help people with Affordable Care Act marketplace enrollment as well as Medicaid enrollment. More information is at fiverivershealthcenters.org/insurance or the main office can be reached at (937) 208-8585.

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