Now is the time to enroll in a 2018 health plan, as open enrollment for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplace began on Wednesday.
This year's enrollment period runs from November 1st through December 15th, which is much shorter than years past.
Instead of the original 90 day period, it has been reduced to 45 days, which means you need to enroll now.
According to the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations, health coverage and the financial help that make it affordable are up against multiple challenges this year, that's why officials say it's important to enroll so you can get the coverage you need.
Tim Trithart, CEO of the Community Health Center of the Black Hills, says, "Having access to health insurance and affordable health insurance goes a long way, that when you need health care, having insurance opens up a lot of avenues in terms of what you're doing, so now is the open enrollment and so it's really important that folks that think they may qualify, or need to at least go through the process, checking to see exactly what you can afford."
Currently, more than 30,000 South Dakotans are enrolled in coverage through the health insurance marketplace and 90 percent of those people qualify for some sort of financial assistance to offset the cost of their coverage.
For more information you can go to www.getcoveredsouthdakota.org.