LANSING \u2014 New Health Insurance Marketplace subsidies that will help more Michiganders afford health insurance are available now on HealthCare.gov. The increased subsidies are part of the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law in March. \u201cWith these increased subsidies, working families\u2019 monthly savings could be substantial, but the sooner you start the process the more you could save overall,\u201d Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. \u201cA family of four making $120,000 per year could save approximately $259 per month, while a 60-year-old married couple could save as much as $943 per month for the rest of 2021. Getting started today ensures that you and your family have the health coverage you need while saving the most money possible on your coverage.\u201d The Health Insurance Marketplace and application process, at HealthCare.gov, has been updated to reflect both the extended special enrollment period \u2014 now open through Aug. 15 \u2014 and the newly expanded tax credits from the American Rescue Plan. Michiganders who need Marketplace health coverage should start a Marketplace application by visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace or by calling 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). Coverage will start on the first of the month after a plan is selected, so coverage will start May 1 for plans selected in April. Consumers who already have a Marketplace plan may update their 2021 application to see if they qualify for expanded tax credits and take immediate advantage of the higher subsidies. However, selecting a new plan under this extended special enrollment period may reset the annual deductible for 2021. Those who choose not to revisit their application will not be able to lower their monthly health coverage premiums this year and will have to wait until they file their 2021 tax returns in 2022 to get the expanded tax credits for which they qualify. \u201cOverall, an estimated 67,000 uninsured Michiganders now qualify for lower cost coverage, and approximately 16,000 should be eligible for no-cost coverage through these increased subsidies,\u201d Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Director Anita Fox said. \u201cIf you\u2019re unsure how to start taking advantage of these new opportunities, DIFS is here to help through our live call center, by email, or with our online resources.\u201d WATCH OUT FOR SCAMS The Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) is warning consumers to watch out for health insurance fraud and the promotion of fake health insurance policies in order to steal private information. \u201cThe Special Enrollment Period is an important opportunity for Michiganders who need health coverage, but we are getting reports that criminals are taking advantage of consumers by purporting to sell fake policies and stealing personal information,\u201d Fox said. \u201cIt is important that consumers safely get the information and health coverage they need, while protecting themselves from fraud and unintended disclosure of their personal information.\u201d To protect themselves and their families from health insurance scams, consumers are encouraged to follow these tips: \u2022 Be Informed: Consumers should research health insurance basics and carefully compare plans before making a selection, whether on HealthCare.gov or direct from an insurer. \u2022 Protect your personal information: Consumers should never give out financial or health information, such as banking, credit card, account numbers, or medical history, to someone who calls or comes to their home uninvited, even if they claim to be from the \u201cgovernment\u201d or that they represent \u201cBidencare.\u201d Representatives from the Marketplace may reach out after consumers enroll in a health plan, but they will never ask for the personal health or financial information listed above. Consumers who receive a call from the Marketplace can request that a letter to be mailed to them instead of answering questions over the telephone. \u2022 Work with qualified assisters and verify what they say: Free, local assisters are available to help consumers enroll in coverage. Consumers should write down the name and contact information of the person who assists them and ask questions if they do not understand what is being said. Consumers can verify information and find a certified assister by visiting HealthCare.gov or by calling the Marketplace at 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). \u2022 Report anything suspicious: If something doesn\u2019t feel right, consumers are encouraged to call DIFS at 877-999-6442 or report the suspected fraud on the DIFS website. Suspected insurance fraud can be reported safely, easily, and in most cases anonymously. \u201cInsurance scam artists are becoming increasingly sophisticated in how they commit their crimes,\u201d Fox said. \u201cDIFS is working hard to crack down on these criminals. If a consumer thinks something or someone seems suspicious, we strongly encourage them to contact us to verify that the company or person they are speaking with is licensed by DIFS.\u201d DIFS can help consumers with health insurance questions and complaints and can provide information about the Health Insurance Marketplace Special Enrollment Period. For more information, visit Michigan.gov\/HealthInsurance, contact DIFS via email, or call 877-999-6442 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.