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It’s Open Enrollment time for the Health Insurance Marketplace.

During the Open Enrollment period of November 1, 2015 through January 31, 2016, those seeking health care insurance can do just that through the Affordable Care Act. If this is your first time enrolling, or if you need to make changes to your current plan, this is the time to do it.

From HealthCare.gov:

The yearly period when people can enroll in a health insurance plan. For 2016 coverage, the Open Enrollment Period is November 1, 2015 – January 31, 2016. People may qualify for Special Enrollment Periods allowing them to enroll outside of Open Enrollment if they have certain life events, like getting married, having a baby, or losing other coverage.

On Friday, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell joined Roland Martin on NewsOne Now to discuss the Open Enrollment period, new features available on HealthCare.gov, and how many individuals have signed up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

Sec. Burwell said by the end of 2015, 9.1 million individuals will have entered into the health care insurance marketplace and nationwide, 17.6 million Americans that at one time did not have health insurance now have coverage.

“The marketplace is where at this point in time you can come in, from now, November 1st till the end of January and shop affordable health insurance if you don’t have insurance any other way.”

She added, “For the vast majority of folks in the marketplace — 8 out of 10 of those folks will get financial assistance” to help make having health care insurance more affordable.

If you live in a state that decided not to expand Medicaid, Sec. Burwell said you can just enter into the health insurance marketplace and “you would receive that assistance,” and added, “You could still go into the marketplace, but there still is a gap.”

Burwell continued, “That’s why we want to emphasize the importance of that expansion of Medicaid and what it means for individuals, their health and financial security, but it also means economic help for hospitals who have uncompensated care and states as well.”

If you are Medicaid eligible, you can sign up for health insurance “at any time,” said Burwell, but if you are interested in signing up to secure health insurance through the marketplace finite period Burwell said “you should sign up by December 15th.”

According to Sec. Burwell, using the health care marketplace has been made “simpler and easier” by making the enrollment process smoother, making eligibility easier to understand, and making the plan selection process better through an “out of cost estimator,” and a beta test of a health care provider search.

For those interested in acquiring dental insurance through the health care marketplace, you would need to sign up for health insurance and then you would be able to sign up for dental coverage.

Visit HealthCare.gov to sign up for insurance coverage or visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov for in person assistance, or you can call 1-800-318-2696.

Watch Roland Martin and HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell discuss the Open Enrollment period for the Health Care Marketplace in the video clip above.

TV One’s NewsOne Now has moved to 7 A.M. ET, be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.

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