Open enrollment begins today for the roughly 11 million Americans who buy individual coverage through or their state exchange, Money reported. Iowa, as most states, has an open enrollment deadline of Dec. 15 for coverage beginning Jan. 1. A new consideration this year: The individual mandate is lifted starting in 2019, meaning that Americans won’t be penalized if they choose not to purchase health coverage. Additionally, individuals have a new option for buying extended short-term health plans outside of the Affordable Care Act marketplace plans, which can now provide coverage for up to 364 days. Iowans looking for ACA-compliant health coverage should get in touch with a licensed agent to research their coverage options, Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen said in a release. For 2019, Medica and Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield will be offering individual plans on the exchange at