Here are some answers to your open enrollment questions

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - On Wednesday, WAFB hosted health insurance experts available to answer questions about open enrollment over the phone tonight at the WAFB studio.

Open enrollment for health insurance on the federal marketplace ends on December 15, 2017. This deadline is six weeks earlier than in past years.

If you do not have already have health insurance through your employer or spouse's employer, you will need to purchase health insurance through the marketplace.

The WAFB health insurance phone bank has ended. However, if you would like to speak to a health insurance expert, you can contact Navigators for a Healthy Louisiana Office at 1-800-435-2432.

Outside the Open Enrollment Period, you generally can enroll in a health insurance plan only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. You're eligible if you have certain life events, like getting married, having a baby, or losing other health coverage.

  • Job-based plans may have different Open Enrollment Periods. Check with your employer.
  • You can apply and enroll in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) any time of year.
Healthcare open enrollment FAQs

Q: Can you sign up for health insurance after open enrollment?

A: The only way you can enroll in a health plan through the Marketplace outside Open Enrollment is if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. You can find these plans through some insurance companies, agents, brokers, and online health insurance sellers.

Q: Can you change your health insurance plan after open enrollment?

A: Changing plans after you're enrolled. You can change 2017 health plans only if: You qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to a life event — like losing health coverage, getting married, or having a baby. You usually have 60 days from event to enroll in a new plan, but report the change as soon as possible.

Q: Will I save money on a 2018 Marketplace plan?

A: Your savings depend on your expected household income for 2018. To get a quick idea if you'll save, select your household size and state. We'll tell you if your income's in the saving range. You'll find out exactly how much you'll save when you apply.

As of December 12, there are there are 39,238 people who have enrolled so far.  As of last week, enrollment is up 20% this year from the same time last year.

88% of consumers in Louisiana receive some financial assistance paying their monthly premiums.

Though premiums have increased, the assistance has typically grown more than the prices, therefore consumers are finding plans less expensive this year over last.

For the 12% who do not receive subsidies, they are seeing a quite remarkable increase in their monthly premiums.

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