(Salem) – For people not getting health insurance benefits at work, sorting through choices and subsidy programs can be tough. A network of certified community groups and licensed insurance agents can help Oregonians tackle this task, and their assistance is free for the consumer. The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace awards grants to community groups and insurance agents to support their services. 
For the 2019-20 period, the Marketplace has granted more than $800,000 in funding to nine community groups and 33 insurance agencies. The awardees will use the grants to publicize the upcoming health insurance open enrollment period, and to help Oregonians enroll in coverage through HealthCare.gov and other programs.  For most people who buy their own health insurance, open enrollment is the only time of year to sign up for a health plan or switch plans. Open enrollment for 2020 coverage will run from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15. “If you don’t deal with premiums, financial assistance, deductibles, and co-pays every day, you might not want to sift through all that information alone, under a deadline,” said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. “An agent or partner in your community can help you understand the options and enroll in coverage.”Grantees were judged on multiple criteria, including their demonstrated ties to community networks, ability to reach underserved populations, and capacity to serve consumers whether they are eligible for HealthCare.gov plans or other programs, such as the Oregon Health Plan or Medicare.  Insurance agents – called partner agents – receiving a total of $332,000 in grants are: • Abel Insurance, Newport, Florence, Coos Bay and Gold Beach. To make an appointment with a partner or agent, go to OregonHealthCare.gov/gethelp or call 855-268-3767.