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Health Insurance Open Enrollment Officially Begins; Signups Continue Through December 15

By Nathan Ham

The annual open enrollment period to sign up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov started on Friday for residents in the High Country that need to secure their health insurance for 2020. 

Over 11 million Americans signed up for health insurance last year through the Affordable Care Act, more commonly called “Obamacare.” According to the Department of Health and Humane Services, 90 percent of people that purchased their insurance through the marketplace qualified for financial assistance to make the premium prices cheaper. The data also shows that premium prices will decrease by four percent on average from 2019 to 2020 and people will have three to four different company plans to choose from instead of previous years where they had just one or two choices. 

Locally, there are several ways for residents in the High Country to find an insurance agent or what is called a “marketplace assister” that will guide you through the process. High Country Community Health is one of the most popular locations for help in Boone. 

Alex Noriega is the Open Enrollment Coordinator with High Country Community Health. To schedule an appointment, call High Country Community Health office number at 828-262-3886 or by email Alex at alexandranoriega@hcchmail.org.

“Anyone that enrolled last year should contact us and see if there’s something different or more affordable they can buy,” said Noriega in a previous interview with the High Country Press

As a reminder, once the December 15 deadline passes, people will not be able to sign up for health insurance unless they have had a “life-changing event” such as losing a job or losing coverage through a spouse losing their job. 

High Country Community Health not only works with people to help them sign up for health insurance, but the staff is also here to provide medical, dental and several other services in Watauga and Avery for those with or without health insurance coverage.

For more information on High Country Community Health, visit their website at http://www.highcountrycommunityhealth.com.