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Friday Marks The Deadline To Enroll In Health Insurance Plans

Friday is the deadline to enroll in health insurance plans through the federal exchange for 2018.

This year’s open enrollment period was shorter. Consumers have had half the time to sign up as in past years.

Some have gotten help from navigators, people who guide you through the ins and outs of coverage options.

We wanted to know what these navigators have noticed this enrollment period, so we reached out to the Cover Arizona Coalition.

They’ve provided free help in exploring the federal Marketplace, as well as Medicaid and Kidscare.

Marcus Johnson is with Cover Arizona Coalition. He’s also Vitalyst Health Foundation’s director of state Health Policy and Advocacy.

The latest numbers show more than 87,000 people in Arizona had selected plans on www.healthcare.gov for next year. Marcus Johnson with Cover Arizona said that's 10,000 more than the same time last year. But unlike 2016, consumers don't have much longer to shop. The deadline for selecting a plan is Friday.

“There are a significant number of plans that are very very affordable. We actually estimate that about 100,000 Arizonans could qualify for free monthly premiums,” Johnson said.

Arizona’s marketplace only had two insurers this year, but their rates were virtually unchanged.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.