2018 health insurance open enrollment begins this week

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BISMARCK, N.D. - If you don't get health insurance through your employer or government agency, the time to buy health insurance for 2018 starts this week.

Open enrollment begins Wednesday Nov. 1 and will run through Dec. 15.

Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread emphasized how important the open enrollment period for health care is.

"This is critical, this is the critical time for those folks who have to go out and purchase their individual insurance," said Godfread.

Due to some cuts, Burleigh County has lost funding for health care navigators which help individuals through the process of buying insurance.

"Since that has now been reduced We are referring people to local health insurance brokers," said Renea Moch, director of Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health.

Depending on your income level you may qualify for an insurance subsidy.

"If you qualify for the subsidy, you need to shop on healthcare.gov. If you don't qualify for the subsidy, I encourage everyone to meet with an insurance agent and kind of walk through the different options," said Godfread.

Health officials say adequate coverage is important to public health.

"Prevention is always the key when you're looking at costs, keeping costs down for health care in the long run, and a lot of these plans with the health insurance market place do have that preventive coverage added to it," said Moch.

Open enrollment runs through the Dec. 15.