HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller today reminded consumers that Open Enrollment for 2017 health insurance coverage available through the Affordable Care Act is currently underway and encouraged consumers to explore options for health insurance coverage through the federal marketplace at www.Healthcare.gov. "While newly elected officials in Washington have stated they may repeal the Affordable Care Act in the future, there is currently no plan in place to alter our existing health care system," said Commissioner Miller. "Though potential changes may be coming, enrolling now will help ensure the health of you and your family is protected in the short and long term." Health insurance plans for 2017 can be purchased online through www.Healthcare.gov. Plans sold on the federal marketplace meet the coverage standards and consumer protections mandated by the Affordable Care Act, which include coverage for pre-existing conditions, free preventive care, and coverage for other essential health benefits. Consumers purchasing from the federal marketplace may be eligible for financial assistance to pay premiums and, in some cases, other out-of-pocket costs like co-pays and deductibles. For 2016, 78 percent of Pennsylvanians who purchased insurance through the federal marketplace received subsidies to lower monthly premium costs. The federal Department of Health and Human Services estimates that for 2017, 75 percent of returning marketplace policyholders will be able to find a plan for less than $100 per month after receiving a subsidy. However, consumers need to be aware that financial assistance is only available if you purchase an ACA-compliant plan from the federal marketplace. Affordable Care Act compliant health insurance plans are also sold off the federal marketplace. While these plans are not eligible for financial assistance, they may be less expensive than some on-marketplace options and still provide the same coverage and protections mandated by the Affordable Care Act. For consumers with incomes too high to qualify for subsidies, these off-marketplace plans, sold by agents or directly by companies, may be a more affordable option in some areas of the state. However, Commissioner Miller urged consumers to do research and understand what they are purchasing when shopping off-marketplace. In some cases, plans sold off-marketplace may offer a more limited scope of benefits and may not be ACA-compliant.