INDIANAPOLIS – The open enrollment period for 2019 health insurance coverage through the Marketplace and other individual plans is here. The Indiana Department of Insurance has what Hoosiers need to know to enroll. Consumers in Indiana use the federal Marketplace through Healthcare.gov, and for them, open enrollment runs Nov. 1– Dec. 15.

Those who currently have Marketplace coverage or need it in 2019 should take the time to shop for plans. If you already have coverage through a Marketplace plan, review your information to make sure it is accurate. You can update your application with any income and/or household changes. You might qualify for a different amount of help with costs or find a different plan that costs less or better meets your needs. If you like the plan and proposed premium that you have, you will be automatically enrolled in the same or similar plan.

Learn more about the basics of health insurance and what you need to know to enroll through the marketplace.

What If Your Plan Is No Longer Available in 2019?

If your plan is no longer available in 2019, you should receive a notice from your insurer and from the Marketplace. Even if your plan is continuing, it pays to shop and check whether the doctors or hospitals your family uses are in the plan networks. To see which insurers are offering plans in your county, visit the Marketplace Insurance Providers by County map.

If you’re looking for a new plan, there are three categories of health insurance plans to choose from in Indiana on the Marketplace (Bronze, Silver, and Gold). They’re broken up by how costs are shared between you and your insurer. A fifth category, Catastrophic, is available for consumers in certain counties under 30 years of age or who face a hardship in accessing the other plans. Learn more about the different plans and network types.

What’s New for 2019

There will not be a penalty for not having minimum essential coverage. Before, consumers would pay a penalty if they were not enrolled in a health plan. Starting Jan. 1, 2019, that tax penalty will be reduced to nothing. If you don’t have major medical health insurance for the 2019 coverage year, you’ll be on your own for major health care costs, but you won’t be penalized at tax time.

Short-term, limited duration options may have different benefit levels. Short-term, limited duration insurance is not available through the Marketplaces, but you may see it offered elsewhere. It allows for coverage to fill temporary coverage gaps. While they’re typically cheaper than the Marketplace and other individual market health plans, there are usually limited benefits, broader exclusions and higher levels of consumer cost-sharing. Before signing up for a short-term plan, it’s important to think through what health care services you and your family may need and check whether those services are covered. For more information, visit the short-term, limited duration consumer guidance and bulletin.

There will be more direct enrollment options. This means you might sign up for a Marketplace plan even without visiting HealthCare.gov. You might use an insurer’s website or a third-party website. These sites might offer you other types of coverage too, so look closely to know what you’re buying. Remember, you can always use HealthCare.gov if you want to be sure to get the protections of the Marketplace plans. Both CareSource and MHS/Ambetter offer a direct enrollment option.

More Information If you have questions about the health insurance Marketplace, visit the Indiana Department of Insurance Indiana Navigator webpage. For more information on National Association of Insurance Commissioners activity on health care reform, visit the Health Care Reform Special Section