Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) health insurance marketplace begins today.

Last year, about 16,000 Alaskans received health care through ACA, also known as Obamacare, according to the Alaska Division of Insurance.

There are a few changes to the program this year.

The enrollment period was cut in half to 45 days.

Alaska Division of Insurance director Lori Wing-Heier said for the first time, Alaskans’ premiums will go down by more than 20 percent for 2018.

Wing-Heier said overall most people shouldn’t notice a difference in their coverage, though.

“The premium tax credits are still there, the cost-sharing reductions are still there,” Wing-Heier said. “While we’ve heard a lot of talk of changes, in reality, nothing has changed at this point from last year. So we hope people don’t get discouraged or frightened about what they’ve heard.”

The deadline to sign up is Dec. 15, 2017.

People who need help navigating the system can click here or call 1-844-PLANSAK.

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