Thousands to lose health care coverage right as Open Enrollment begins

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Open enrollment for health care is officially under way and it couldn't have come a moment too so for thousands of customers who will lose coverage and the end of the year thanks to the elimination of one health insurance co-op, Meritus.
 
Just days before open enrollment, 59,000 Meritus customers were notified they will not be covered in 2016, but one health care expert we spoke to says there is a silver lining.
 
"For the fifty some thousand Meritus customers, they need to do the same thing that all 175 thousand market place customers do - it's time to go shopping, " says Allen Gjersvig. 
 
Health care specialist Allen Gjersvig says finding the right health insurance shouldn't be a scary thing - in fact, he says it should be exciting. 
 
"Last year, Arizonans who shopped and switched plans, saved an average of 507 dollars a year, more than 11 million dollars saved in Arizona," Gjersvig said.  
 
Gjersvig says to look at it like buying a car or a home, compare your options.
 
"If you've heard that health insurance is too expensive, check it out yourself, it costs nothing to bring it up on your hand held on your screen and look at it, you can shop before you buy, you don't have to fill out an application," Gjersvig said.
 
And to find the right fit, trained experts are standing by to walk you through your choices. 
 
"Even with Meritus leaving the Healthcare.gov, we have more than 69 plans here in Maricopa county, other counties may have a little bit less, but most people can't manage 3 or 4 choices at work, and here, if you are shopping for yourself, 69 plans to choose from," said Gjersvig .
 
Even though he suggests everyone considers shopping, with open enrolment in full swing until the end of January, Allen says Meritus customers have another date to remember.
 
"It's very important that you shop and make a new choice by December 15th if you want to have coverage starting January 1st,” Gjersvig says. “The marketplace is open until January 31 but that date for everyone is important or else you might have a gap in coverage."
 
And for anyone who's looking for a little more guidance, Phoenix College is hosting a health care seminar Monday morning from 10:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m. right outside the Student Union.

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