Time is running out for consumers to sign up for health insurance for 2020 through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Enrollment ends Dec. 15, and free, one-on-one assistance is available with experts to help local people understand their options and get covered. Nonprofit Pisgah Legal Services partners with other organizations to offer this free assistance.

Consumers who wish to meet with Pisgah Legal Services may schedule an appointment in Asheville at the Pisgah Legal Service office, 62 Charlotte St., or at other locations around Western North Carolina. Appointments can be made online at www.pisgahlegal.org or by calling 210-3404 or toll free 855-733-3711.

In addition to appointments, there is a walk-in event from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, and Sunday, Dec. 15, at the Jackson County Library.

The ACA – also known as Obamacare – is the law that ensures access to health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace. With these plans, consumers are protected and:

• Cannot be denied coverage for a pre-existing health condition and cannot be dropped for getting sick.

• Insurers cannot charge higher premiums to women.

• Insurers cannot sell substandard plans that do not pay for essential health care benefits.

More information is at www.healthcare.gov.