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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Begins Nov. 1 in Michigan

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Friday, October 28, 2022   

Open-enrollment season for health insurance is upon us, and Michiganders who want to get the right kinds of coverage have a lot to consider.

More than 520,000 people in Michigan are uninsured.

The health-insurance marketplace open enrollment period begins Tuesday and continues through Jan. 15. That's a busy time for most people, and Michigan residents have up to 12 insurance providers to choose from, depending on the county where they live.

Dr. Rhonda Randall, chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare, said it's important to spend some time doing research when deciding on a coverage.

"You want to make sure you set aside some dedicated time to really understand and compare those benefits," she said. "You don't want this to be a decision you're making with not a lot of time, or maybe you were to forget it's time to make a decision, and then be locked into your current coverage."

Subsidies for people with incomes less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Level will again be in effect. They've been extended through 2025 as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. That caps the monthly premium for those families at no more than at 8.5% of household income.

Looking at the 2023 health-insurance marketplace for Michigan, monthly premiums for an individual plan average slightly more than $435. That represents a 6.2% increase over this year's rate. With different plans at different price points, Randall said figuring out what you will - and won't - need from your health plan is critical.

"Some things to consider," she said, "are prescription-drug benefits, mental-health coverage, specialty benefits - things like dental, vision, hearing, critical-illness insurance - and others that may be available as well."

Randall added that it's also a good idea to learn some basic insurance terminology.

"Also make sure that you're looking at those things like your out-of-pocket costs, and having a good understanding of what those insurance terms mean," she said, "like copays, co-insurance, premiums, deductibles and more."

Michigan residents can purchase insurance through the federal exchange at HealthCare.gov.

Disclosure: United Healthcare contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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