Health Law Helper Takes Confusion Out of Open Enrollment

By David ButlerConsumer Reports

Open enrollment for health insurance coverage is underway, and Consumer Reports' free Health Law Helper will help you navigate your health care options. The tool, fully updated for this open-enrollment period, offers personalized guidance to help you better understand how you might be affected by the Affordable Care Act. (A Spanish-language version is at Health Law Helper is designed for you to get information quickly and easily, understand any new options that may be available to you and your family, and provide direction on how and when to take action. It takes complex insurance data and breaks it down into practical, useful information, and it’s set up to address a wide variety of individual situations and circumstances. Launched in September 2013, Health Law Helper has been updated to connect you with important information about tax credits under the health law and how to qualify. Last year, 80 percent of people who signed up for coverage under the new law also qualified for tax-credit discounts. You can also get personalized advice on the best options for insurance coverage and whether you need to make any changes during the open-enrollment season. Plus, you can learn about penalties and tax requirements under the new law and get tips on picking a health plan. The site allows you to get advice from Consumer Reports' experts about what to do if a plan is being canceled. You can also submit your coverage questions and stories to us. To learn more about how to make sure you have the coverage you need, visit

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Remember, open enrollment ends on Feb. 15, 2015.  And if you want a new plan to start January 1, the deadline is Dec. 15.  Even if you like the plan have through the health care exchanges, go online and double-check to make sure it covers what you need.

This feature is part of a regular series by Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. The nonprofit organization advocates for product safety, financial reform, safer food, health reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

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