DEC 15 is your last chance to get covered at HEALTHCARE.GOVWith the gift-giving season here, don’t forget to put yourself and others in your community on the shopping list. Open enrollment for 2020 health insurance coverage runs through this Sunday, Dec. 15., the online federal insurance marketplace is the place to shop if you don’t have health coverage. Financial help is available, and most people can find a plan for under $100 per month, according to Get America Covered. Coverage for people who sign up for an insurance plan by Dec. 15 starts Jan. 1, which is just around the corner.

Some states have their own marketplaces too. But with all the available plans out there, Get America Covered says only 5% of uninsured people are aware of the sign-up deadline — and misperceptions abound.

In 2018, the number of people in the U.S. without health insurance rose from 25.6 million in 2017 to 27.5 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s a jump from 7.9% to 8.5% of Americans, and it marked the first year-to-year increase in uninsured rates since the Affordable Care Act became law.

Public education and outreach to current and potential marketplace consumers is essential to change those numbers. Health and public health professionals can highlight affordability, spread the word about open enrollment dates and correct misperceptions that keep people from getting insured.

Promotional and educational tools — including fact sheets, infographics, sample social media posts and other outreach materials — are available from Get America Covered. Additional information is available through states that have their own marketplaces.

With your help, we can get more people covered this year.