Sign up now for health insurance

The Guardian

Open enrollment for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace is now underway and ends Jan. 31.

Is the insurance affordable?

After last year’s open enrollment period for Obamacare, 16.1 million were able to get quality, affordable health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.

It’s open enrollment time again, and there are still low-cost health insurance options available through the Health Insurance Marketplace, and you can get help paying for the cost of your insurance.

According to the federal government, about 8 out of 10 returning consumers will be able to pay $100 or less for their coverage each month after tax credits.

What does it cover?

All plans offered through the Marketplace must cover the important benefits, including doctor visits, hospitalizations, maternity care, emergency room visits, prescriptions and more. All plans cover free preventive care, with no co-pay. This means free cancer screenings, checkups and more.

I’m healthy. Why do I need insurance?

No one plans to get sick or injured, but when the unexpected occurs, you want to know that you and your family are covered. Medical debt is the No. 1 cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. If you do not secure coverage for 2016, you may have to pay $695 or 2.5 percent of your income, whichever is more.

Where can I get help?

In North Central Florida, we have Navigators, or in-person experts, who provide free help for you to sign up for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Navigators will help you compare options and find an insurance plan that fits your needs and budget. They also will determine the amount of financial help available and walk you through the steps of signing up for insurance at

So, contact a Navigator today in Alachua County by calling 352-299-0380 or visiting www.NCF

Lauren Vagelakos, associate planner at the WellFlorida Council, is the manager of the Health Insurance Marketplace Navigator program, which provides free enrollment assistance through to 15 counties in North Central Florida.

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WellFlorida Council, Inc. is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization created in 1969. We are the state designated local health council for 16 counties in North Central Florida and specialize in health-related consultancy for clients and projects throughout Florida.

Proudly serving the following Florida counties:
Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee and Union.

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