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Open Enrollment 2019: What You Need to Know

This year, Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace starts on November 1st. An important thing to know this year is that you may see some cheaper health plans for sale outside the marketplaces. These “short-term” plans – which can now be renewed for up to three years – are less comprehensive than other plans, which means less protection for you as a consumer. These plans do not have to provide essential health benefits like hospitalization, prescription drugs and maternity care, or preventive care. Insurers can also deny you coverage or charge you more if you have a preexisting condition. If you do buy a short-term plan, the smaller price you pay in premiums could result in high out-of-pockets costs should you get sick or have an accident. Some states won't allow the sale of these plans, sometimes called "junk plans," because of how little coverage they actually provide. See our map showing which states allows the sale of these plans, to see if your state is among them.