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Jan. 15 health insurance deadline is steadily approaching

Oregon is still using paper applications to enroll people through the Affordable Care Act.
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Oregon is still using paper applications to enroll people through the Affordable Care Act.

Residents have until Sunday to choose a health care insurance plan for this year under the Affordable Care Act.

The state's Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs announced Monday that open enrollment closes Jan. 15. After that date, only those who have a baby, get married, lose job-based health coverage or move will qualify.

Uninsured residents who don’t qualify for Medicaid can enroll in the federal marketplace.

The nonprofit Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi reminds consumers to keep a few things in mind.

"There is also a wide range of providers through these marketplace plans, and the coverage is affordable. There are things called advanced premium tax credits that help people lower their out-of-pocket costs," said Connie Liu from Legal Aid. "And four out of five consumers can find a plan for $10 per month or less after subsidies."

She said the marketplace plans cover 10 essential health benefits — including doctor visits, emergency care, behavioral health services, preventative care, hospital care and prescription drugs.

People who already have plans and do not want to make any changes should expect their coverage to roll over, according to the state.

More information can be found at healthcare.gov or by contacting the Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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