National Commentary

Congressman Beyer’s News Commentary: Open Enrollment Is Here


The open enrollment period to shop for health insurance coverage in the Health Insurance Marketplace has begun, and will run until Dec. 15. Anyone who needs to sign up for coverage for 2018 or would like to find out more should visit, where you can shop for plans which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Even for individuals who are healthy, health insurance can suddenly become vital. The out-of-pocket cost for a three-day hospital stay is $30,000, and a broken leg can cost up to $7,500. Health insurance helps protect you from unexpected costs like these.

Coverage could be more affordable than you think. In 2017, many Virginia families qualified for financial help in the Marketplace. Nationwide, 8-in-10 people qualified for financial help in the Marketplace. For many, that meant they could find insurance premiums between $50 and $100 per month during last year’s enrollment period.

Here are some resources to help you get covered:

• Health Insurance Navigators are available in our area to help you sign up for insurance, free of charge. You can find a navigator in your community through Enroll VA.

• Check on your family’s eligibility for Medicaid or Family Access to Medical Insurance Security (FAMIS) programs through Cover Virginia.

• Calculate potential Affordable Care Act subsidies or get answers to an array of questions about health insurance through the non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation.

• Federal employees can sign up for plans through the open enrollment page at OPM. FEHBP enrollment runs 11/13–12/11.

• Individuals 65 and older (and certain individuals under 65) qualify for Medicare. Medicare Fall Enrollment started Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7. Go to:

I will continue my work in Congress to improve the US health care system, and to ensure that Americans can access and afford quality health insurance.