The estimated 600,000 people in Indiana without health-care coverage have an opportunity to shop for plans when the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace opens for business on Saturday. It's the second enrollment period for the marketplace, created as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Kathleen Falk, regional director of the Department of Health and Human Services, said residents have many more options because the number of insurers for 2015 has jumped from four to nine.
"In Indiana, there's going to be more than double the number of insurance companies," she said, "and so that gives consumers more choice of plans - and when you have more choice, you have better prices."
Falk encouraged current enrollees to update their applications and compare options to ensure they have a plan that best fits their needs for 2015. The enrollment period runs through Feb. 15, but those who want their coverage to begin Jan. 1 must enroll by Dec. 15. The website to apply for coverage is healthcare.gov.
After technical problems plagued the start of enrollment last year, Falk said the process this year is streamlined and easier to navigate. Overall, she said, the health-insurance marketplace has seen great success.
"Over 10 million more people have health insurance today than a year ago, and that's just inspiring," she said. "But we know there are still millions of Americans who don't have health insurance - and so, Saturday marks a very important day for them."
More than 132,000 people in Indiana signed up for marketplace plans last year, and an estimated 89 percent qualified for financial assistance to help with the cost of their coverage. It's projected that more than 9 million people will enroll nationally for 2015. Those who need help applying for coverage can call 211 in Indiana to be connected to a trained navigator in their community.