HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller today announced that open enrollment is now underway for 2017 health insurance plans available through the federal marketplace at Healthcare.gov. Consumers enrolled in plans that were purchased through the federal marketplace should have received a letter notifying them of any changes to their current coverage. If your plan is being discontinued, you will be moved to a similar plan, but you can still select a different plan at Healthcare.gov. "As open enrollment begins, I want to remind consumers that they have options to make their health insurance coverage more affordable," said Commissioner Miller. "Rate increases for 2017 may be concerning for some consumers, but many consumers will not actually see the full rate increases." In 2016, 78% of consumers who purchased health insurance through the federal exchange at Healthcare.gov received subsidies to help pay premiums and, in some cases, their out-of-pocket costs like deductibles. Subsidies are calculated based on the cost of the second-lowest cost silver tier plan in each rating area, so as premiums go up, subsidies are adjusted to meet these rising costs. "According to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services, 75% of returning marketplace consumers will be able to find a plan for less than $100 a month after subsidies are applied," said Commissioner Miller. "It is critical that consumers consider this when shopping for a plan." Commissioner Miller also stressed a report from the Department of Health and Human Services that showed that approximately 111,000 Pennsylvanians currently purchasing their own insurance could be eligible for subsidies if they were to purchase a plan from the federal marketplace at Healthcare.gov. Individuals considered in this study currently purchase individual health insurance coverage off-marketplace. In addition to this, some consumers that did not qualify for a subsidy in previous years may now qualify due to rising costs. However, Commissioner Miller acknowledged that not all consumers will qualify for a subsidy. Approximately 90,000 Pennsylvanians who currently have individual health insurance through the federal exchange do not qualify for premium assistance. Commissioner Miller recommends that consumers research off-exchange plans in their areas that offer the same coverage as plans sold on the marketplace but may be less expensive. Off-exchange plans are sold directly by an agent or the insurance company, and subsidies are not available for these types of plans.