Wednesday July 4, 2012

BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts residents who purchase health insurance on their own have until August 15 to enter into a new plan or make changes to their current coverage for any reason.

A 2010 state law limits when many individuals and families buying health insurance outside of an employer's plan or a government-subsidized program may purchase or change plans.

The 45-day open enrollment period began Sunday.

There are about 71,000 individuals in the state who buy health care plans individually. Nearly half of them receive their coverage through the state's Health Insurance Connector Authority.

Connector Authority Executive Director Glen Shor said even those who already have coverage should take the opportunity to shop and see if they can find a plan that better meets their needs and budget.