How can I get ready to apply for Marketplace coverage?

Before you apply for coverage, get ready by learning how the Health Insurance Marketplace works. You can see if you qualify for lower costs, preview plans and prices, and get help if you need it.

Important. Marketplace Open Enrollment ended March 31. You can still buy a Marketplace health plan only if you qualify for a special enrollment period. You can apply for Medicaid and CHIP any time. Learn about special enrollment periods and other coverage options after Open Enrollment. Open Enrollment for 2015 coverage starts November 15, 2014.

No matter what state you live in, we can help you find quality coverage that meets your needs and fits your budget.

  • Read a one-page guide to getting covered. Find out what you need to know about the Health Insurance Marketplace in this quick guide for individuals & families. Find the Marketplace in your state and learn how it works before you get covered.
  • See if you can get lower costs. To learn if you qualify for lower costs on health coverage, find your estimated 2014 household income and household size on this chart.
  • Preview Marketplace plans and prices in your area. Answer a few questions to preview Marketplace health insurance plans and prices available in your area. Dental plans are also available.
  • Find local help. In all states, there are people trained and certified to help you understand your health coverage options and enroll in a plan. Visit to find help in your area. You can search by city and state or zip code to see a list of local organizations.
  • Learn how to estimate your household income. Most people using the Marketplace will qualify for lower costs on monthly premiums or lower out-of-pocket costs. To find out how much savings you're eligible for, you'll need to provide income information, like the kind you get on your W-2, current pay stubs, or your tax return. You can use this checklist to get started. Important: If your household files more than one tax return, call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 before you start an application (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). This is a very important step. Please don’t skip it. Representatives can provide directions to make sure your application is processed correctly.
  • Understand how health insurance works. The basics include learning about premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, copayments, and coinsurance. You can be better prepared if you understand the different types of coverage you'll choose from.
  • Understand the costs of not getting covered. If you can afford health insurance and don’t have coverage in 2014, you may have to pay a penalty. In 2014, the penalty is 1% of your yearly household income or $95 – whichever is greater. You may also have to pay for the entire cost of all your medical care.
  • Get help with a Marketplace question. If you have questions about the Health Insurance Marketplace, you can call 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325.
  • Connect with us. Have comments about Want to share your story about how you’ve gotten coverage or why it’s important to you? Share your thoughts on our Twitter or Facebook pages. You can also provide feedback by using the little “Was this helpful?” box you’ll find at the bottom of most pages.