Alabamians considering applying for health insurance via HealthCare.gov’s 2022 open enrollment period must act now.

The deadline for the 2022 Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment period is Saturday, Jan. 15.

“Health coverage should not make or break anyone’s bank, particularly amidst a once-in-a-generation pandemic,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. “We urge everyone to sign up for affordable health coverage by the Jan. 15 deadline.”

Residents can sign up for coverage through the Affordable Care Act at HealthCare.gov or call 800-318-2596. The marketplace site offers free enrollment help and will direct you to programs you qualify for, including Medicaid.

Those who miss the deadline to sign up will have to wait until November to pick out a plan for the following year unless they experience a significant life change that allows for a special 60-day window to open.

Since the start of open enrollment in 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Services (CMS) reports more than 9.7 million people have enrolled in the 2022 marketplace plans in the 33 states that utilize the HealthCare.gov platform by mid-December of 2021.

To be eligible to enroll in health coverage through the Marketplace, you:

• must live in the United States.

• must be a U.S. citizen or national (or be lawfully present)

• can’t be incarcerated.

According to healthcare.gov, If you have Medicare coverage, you’re not eligible to use the Marketplace to buy a health or dental plan.

Individuals can apply for the first time, update or make changes to their 2022 plan through January 15.

For those already with coverage through the Marketplace, the rules in your Marketplace health plan for treatment for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emergency remain the same as any other viral infection, but your health insurance company may have added benefits.

Residents are encouraged to see what Marketplace plans cover by visiting www.healthcare.gov for additional information.

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