Healthcare Marketplace enrollment opens

By Katrina Goforth -

Nov. 1 marked the beginning of open enrollment season for the Health Insurance Marketplace. This year, instead of 12 weeks, open enrollment will end Dec. 15, and certified Navigator Norma Parsons is filling up her schedule to help those interested in signing up.

Despite the fact that Congress has tried to repeal the 2010 law several times this year, the Washington Post reports that more than 200,000 Americans have already signed up since opening day.

Parsons is a fulltime employee of Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma’s Altus office at 3000 N. Main St., Suite 500, and she’s part of a statewide network of navigators providing Oklahomans answers to their health insurance questions with information about eligibility for premium tax credits and other cost-saving initiatives.

Those who enroll during open enrollment will have coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2018. But those who do not make the Dec. 15 deadline may still enroll if they qualify for a special enrollment period.

The Marketplace is ideal for those who are self-employed and those whose employer does not provide health insurance, Parsons said.

It’s also a good fit for those who lost their coverage when laid off and have exhausted their COBRA benefits.

Parson said it’s a good idea to make an appointment. She’s the only navigator at Legal Aid in Altus, so her schedule fills up quickly.

To make the enrollment process more efficient, Parsons said it’s also a good idea to have your social security card with you, proof of income and a list of members of the household, even if they’re not claimed as dependants.

For more information, contact Norma Parson at 580-482-7431.

By Katrina Goforth

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