Open enrollment ends in December for Iowans purchasing or changing individual health care coverage to become effective Jan. 1, 2018. 

“There has been a lot of news recently about Iowa’s individual insurance market. As the open enrollment season begins, Iowans should thoroughly research all coverage options. I would encourage consumers to meet with a licensed insurance agent to determine the best plan for themselves and their families,” Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said in a news release.

Iowans purchasing their own insurance through the individual market will have one option — Medica — available through Enrollment ends Dec. 15. 

For those 65 and older, Medicare open enrollment for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug coverage (Part D) runs through Dec. 7. 

People who miss the deadline and don't experience a qualifying event can apply later but will have to pay a premium penalty. 

Individuals making more than $133,500 may see an increase in 2018 Medicare Part B premiums. They should contact Medicare for an estimate and plan accordingly. 

Call 800-351-4664 to reach a Senior Health Insurance Information Program counselor who can answer questions about Medicare. SHIIP is free and confidential.