It’s time to sign up for health insurance. Here’s what to know about your options in NH.

Nov. 1 is the start of the annual open enrollment period, when people without employer-sponsored health insurance can shop for subsidized coverage on the individual marketplace.

The New Hampshire Insurance Department says premiums for 2024 plans are up about 4% on average. But that doesn’t necessarily mean consumers will pay more.

While some plans’ premiums are up, others are down. And most people on the individual market qualify for federal subsidies, which can offset increases in premiums.

“Going into 2024, people are probably looking at a flat, to maybe lower costs, in their plans year over year, which is actually a nice thing to see,” said Keith Ballingal of Health Market Connect, which helps people sign up for coverage in New Hampshire.

Ballingal said insurers will offer fewer plans this year, because of a change in federal regulations. So even if you like your current plan and want to keep it, it’s important to take a closer look.

“If somebody had a plan that was removed, they automatically get mapped into a new plan,” Ballingal said. “So for those consumers, they really have to pay attention to the new plan they’re receiving. How close is it to what they want?”

About 60,000 Granite Staters rely on the individual marketplace for coverage. Jeremy Smith, who directs the New Hampshire Navigator assistance program, said more people are turning to the marketplace after the end of pandemic-era rules allowing people to stay enrolled in Medicaid.

“We’ve been really busy over the last few months guiding people who’ve lost Medicaid onto the marketplace,” he said.

If people no longer qualify for Medicaid because their income is too high – and they can’t get affordable insurance through their employer – they will likely qualify for a low-cost plan on the marketplace, he said.

The federal government increased subsidies during the pandemic, which lowered premiums for consumers. Those increased subsidies remain in place for 2024, Smith said.

Open enrollment runs until Jan. 15. The deadline to sign up for coverage that starts on the first of the year is Dec. 15.

People can enroll in health plans at Health Market Connect and New Hampshire Navigator offer free assistance with that process.