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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

In this busy holiday season, it can be easier than ever to lose track of important year-end deadlines. However, it is still critical to make sure that you and your family have access to quality, affordable, and comprehensive coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace. The 2017 open-enrollment period runs from November 1st to December 15th, meaning there are only a few weeks left to visit and make important decisions regarding your health insurance coverage.

Simply put, choosing a health plan can be a challenge. You might struggle with many questions when choosing a plan. For instance, will your preferred doctors still be in your insurance network and will you still be able to access them? How much will you pay out-of-pocket for specific plans? Does a plan with a low premium (the amount you pay each month for health care coverage) but a high deductible (the amount of money you will pay out of pocket before full insurance coverage kicks in) make sense for you? Many plans change year to year and it is important that you review your plan thoroughly even if you don’t plan to make a change.

One great resource when searching for a health insurance plan, especially for individuals and families impacted by cancer, is the Cancer Insurance Checklist. The Cancer Insurance Checklist is designed specifically to aid those with cancer, a history of cancer, or at risk for cancer, so that they can choose the right insurance plan to fit their needs. The checklist will help you to compare the benefits and costs associated with a plan and choose what makes sense for you. Use the checklist on your own, or use it to discuss your needs with a navigator, Marketplace representative, care provider, or loved one.

Remember that if you do not enroll in health insurance, you may have to pay a fine of $695 or 2.5% of your income, whichever is greater. You might have heard that Congress is considering repealing the individual mandate—which would mean that you would no longer be legally responsible for obtaining health insurance coverage. However, even if this goes into effect, the fines mentioned above would still be implemented until 2019, so don’t delay in securing coverage! You may even qualify for financial help to lower your monthly premiums.

Want to stay up to date on important news and deadlines like this? Sign up for our Grassroots Advocacy Network to receive regular updates about policies that could impact cancer patients and their families, and make your voice heard with decision makers at every level.