Whether you need new health insurance or have no coverage — now is the time to educate yourself and take action. Consumers shopping for 2019 marketplace plans only have six weeks to enroll through HealthCare.gov. Open enrollment runs Nov. 1 – Dec. 15. CoverKC assisters offer free, unbiased help. Despite several changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), navigators and certified application counselors across the metro are still available, ready to help consumers review plan options, see if they qualify for financial assistance and navigate the application process. You can still save money. The marketplace continues to offer tax credits and other financial assistance to help lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs to those that qualify. In Missouri, about 88 percent of consumers who bought 2018 Marketplace plans received tax credits. Know the facts! Some health plans offered outside the marketplace – such as “skinny” short-term, limited-duration plans or association health plans – are not eligible for financial assistance. These plans may not offer consumer protections required by marketplace plans. ACA-compliant plans are required to cover pre-existing conditions and offer free preventive screenings. Last year 8.7 million people obtained coverage through HealthCare.gov. In the Kansas City region, 78,949 consumers selected a marketplace plan during the last enrollment period. If you need help enrolling, call United Way 2-1-1 or visit CoverKC.org to connect with a trained counselor near you. CoverKC Coalition members include health care organizations throughout the region, the United Way of Greater Kansas City and the Mid-America Regional Council. Funding support for the coalition comes from the Health Forward Foundation and the REACH Healthcare Foundation.