Official: Many new people expected to shop for health plans

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — This year’s open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act starts Sunday, and one official expects there to be a lot of new people shopping for health insurance because they’ve lost their jobs and coverage.

“This is going to be one of the most important open enrollments since the very beginning,” Jeremy Smith, program director for the federally funded Navigator insurance guide program in New Hampshire, said during a presentation Thursday, the Concord Monitor reported. “We don’t want people to sit back and think, ‘I’ll just wait until I get my next job and get health insurance through my job.’ There is affordable coverage available through the marketplace.”

Officials said about 104,000 New Hampshire residents have health insurance through the federal marketplace or Medicaid expansion. Three companies offer insurance through the federal marketplace: Anthem, Harvard-Pilgrim, and Ambetter, offered through New Hampshire Health Families.

The enrollment period ends Dec. 15.