The Open Enrollment period for 2017 health coverage is about to begin.

People who wish to shop for insurance in the Marketplace have some key dates to keep in mind. Open Enrollment for 2016 begins on November 1 and ends on January 31, 2017. If you do not apply for coverage by that date you will have to wait until the next open enrollment period. If you are already enrolled through the Marketplace but wish to change plans, you will need to act by December 15 in order for your new coverage to start on January 1, 2017. Coverage in your 2016 health insurance plan will end December 31, 2016.

Aroostook County Action Program, Inc. (ACAP) is part of the Community Action Navigator Consortium and is a partner in a statewide network of certified Health Insurance Marketplace Navigators. Navigators can provide free in-person assistance to help you apply for and enroll in coverage through the marketplace.

"Health insurance plans in the Marketplace can be very affordable," explains Dawn Roberts, Health Care Navigator/ Community Education Specialist at ACAP. "A family of two can make up to $64,080.00 and still receive a Premium Tax Credit to help pay insurance premiums. ACAP is not affiliated with any insurance company so we provide fair and unbiased advice. " Navigators can help you access programs that could lower your monthly health premiums and out-of pocket costs and understand the options available to you. Your private information is protected and ACAP will never share it with anybody.

Outreach events for enrollment have been scheduled in the following locations:

• Madawaska – November 19th from 10am-1pm, 88 Fox Street

• Presque Isle- December 14th from 5pm-7pm, 771 Main Street

• Fort Kent – January 21st from 10am-1pm, 40 Alfalfa Avenue

Certified application assistance will be available for free one-on-one assistance, walk- ins are welcome.

If you have questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace, call Dawn Roberts at (207) 764-3721 or e-mail her at droberts@acap-me.org.