MURRAY – If you’ve been meaning to sign up for health insurance through the federal marketplace, you’ve got until Dec.15.
That is the day open enrollment ends, and no new signups will be accepted (other than those eligible because they’re getting married, having a baby or experiencing another major life event).
You can get started at healthcare.gov, where you can view plans for you and your family or update your existing plan.
The process can get complicated, as it requires information like your wages, employment and more; if you need assistance, there are several insurance agents in Murray who can help you fill out an application free of charge.
“I can help with any questions or help with the application,” said Murray insurance agent Martha Harper, who has served as an open enrollment broker since 2010 and worked in insurance for more than 30 years. “You can find me on the website, leave a number and I’ll call you back.”
In addition to having her name on the open enrollment website, Harper said she’s been posting on Facebook, looking to find those in need of assistance filling out their application.
While she’s getting plenty of messages, emails and phone calls, she said overall need has been down from years past.
“I get emails from healthcare.gov weekly and it shows there are less people needing help,” she said. “That’s because the current administration has curtailed advertising, so it’s not out there as much as it used to be. Three, four years ago, it was everywhere, but now, the advertising dollars just aren’t there.”
This isn’t just a local trend; Vox reported signups are down some 13 percent from last year. That’s more than 400,000 people. Several national outlets have speculated a growing economy and the removal of the individual mandate might have played a part.