Health insurance might be more affordable than many Arizonans think

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- As the open enrollment period nears for the Health Insurance Marketplace, members of the Cover Arizona Coalition are spreading the word about health care costs and options.

The open enrollment period begins Nov. 15 and runs through Feb. 15.

The average Arizonan paid less than $100 a month for health insurance on the marketplace last year, says Diane Brown, executive director of the Arizona Public Interest Research Group, a nonprofit, nonpartisan that focuses on consumer empowerment.

Brown and other health care experts partnered with Phoenix College Wednesday, setting up booths and holding information sessions to help people navigate the signup process, compare options and find out whether they qualify for help in lowering out-of-pocket expenses.

Brown says health insurance is more affordable than many people realize.

"Eight out of 10 Arizonans in the last year have qualified for some type of financial assistance, whether it’s through AHCCCS or whether it's through the health insurance marketplace," Brown says.

If you earn less than $40,000, you will probably qualify for the financial help.

If you want more information on health care options or assistance from local volunteers, log onto www.coveraz.org. There is also a cost calculator on the site that will help you estimate your total expense.