SITKA – The open enrollment period for obtaining or changing insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace is half over; it ends December 15.

Southeast Alaskans are encouraged to visit www.healthcare.gov or call the national toll-free 24/7 Marketplace line, 1-800-318-2596, to apply or renew their health coverage.

The application process for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace can be challenging, so the SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Outreach team would like to remind people that they are available to help all Southeast Alaskans apply for or renew insurance on the Marketplace.

Individuals that earn between $20,783 and $60,240 may be eligible for assistance with monthly premiums and out of pocket expenses. Those making more and therefore ineligible for subsidies can consider joining a National Health Care Sharing Ministry that covers medical expenses. Whatever your circumstances, this is the time to explore your health coverage options.

Those between the ages of 19-64 making less than $20,783 and married couples making less than $28,000 may be eligible for Medicaid. People can apply for Medicaid any time through the Health Insurance Marketplace, by paper application, or on the My Alaska website.

“Now is the time to look into affordable health coverage. The majority of those that apply for health insurance on the Marketplace can get low-cost plans, and this year the plans should be more affordable,” said Andrea Thomas, SEARHC Outreach and Enrollment Manager. “SEARHC Outreach & Enrollment staff are specially trained to help people navigate the process of getting insurance coverage and avoid common Marketplace pitfalls. I strongly encourage anyone that would like to explore their options to contact our office.”    

SEARHC is a Certified Application Counselor agency offering free assistance to all Southeast residents by appointment, either in person or by telephone. Those interested are encouraged to contact the Outreach & Enrollment office at (907) 966-8662, (907) 966-8883, or toll-free at 1-855-966-8684.