Need health insurance? Marketplace open for 2017 enrollment

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Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - Obamacare - Affordable Care Act - ACA
The open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act begins today for 2017.

WASHINGTON (KTRK) -- Today is the first day you can enroll for health insurance through the Affordable Health Care Exchange.

Open enrollment begins today on You have until December 15th to make your selections.

Coverage will begin on January 1, 2017.

Health experts warn of a 25 percent hike in most plans, but if you qualify for subsidies, those will be increased for the coming year as well.

Am I eligible to use the marketplace?

You might be wondering if you are able to buy insurance through the exchange. In order to qualify, you must:

  • Live in the United States
  • Be a U.S. citizen or national (or be lawfully present)
  • Not be incarcerated

If you have Medicare coverage, you are not eligible to use the marketplace to buy health or dental plans.

What should I know about the Affordable Care Act?

Before you buy health or dental plans through, here are some things you'll want to be aware of:

  • What you'll pay depends on your income, and you may qualify for tax credits that lower your monthly insurance bill.
  • You may also qualify for free or low-cost insurance for you and your kids.
  • You can apply for coverage online, by phone, with in-person help and with a paper application.
  • The Marketplace is primarily for people without health coverage through a job.
  • If you do not have health insurance, you may have to pay a penalty come tax time.

You can learn more about these issues on the website.