A quick guide to the Health Insurance Marketplace

Tips to get started in the Health Insurance Marketplace

STILL NEED HEALTH COVERAGE FOR 2017?

The deadline for 2017 plans is over. Open Enrollment for 2018 runs November 1 - December 15, 2017. Coverage starts January 1, 2018.

If you still want coverage for the rest of 2017:

If you haven’t applied for insurance on HealthCare.gov before, here’s what you need to know about the Health Insurance Marketplace (sometimes known as the health insurance "exchange").

1. The Health Insurance Marketplace is for people who don’t have health coverage

If you don’t have health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source that provides qualifying health coverage, the Marketplace can help you get covered.

  • If you have job-based insurance: You can buy a plan through the Marketplace, but you’ll pay full price unless your employer’s insurance doesn’t meet certain standards. Most job-based plans do meet the standards.
  • If you have Medicare: You can’t switch to Marketplace insurance, supplement your coverage with a Marketplace plan, or buy a Marketplace dental plan. Learn about Medicare and the Marketplace.

2. What you pay for insurance depends on your income – and you’ll probably save

Your savings depend on your expected household income for the year. Over 8 in 10 people who apply are eligible to save, and most can find plans for $50 to $100 per month (after accounting for savings).

Get a quick idea if you'll save. Based on your income estimate, we’ll tell you if you qualify for:

A health insurance plan with savings based on your income

  • You may qualify for a premium tax credit that lowers your monthly insurance bill, and for extra savings on out-of-pocket costs like deductibles and copayments.
  • The plans are offered by private insurance companies with a range of prices and features.

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

Medicaid and CHIP provide free or low-cost coverage to millions of people and families with limited income, disabilities, and some other situations.

3. You can apply for coverage 4 ways

Applying on HealthCare.gov is easier than ever, and many people can apply, pick a plan, and enroll in a single sitting. You can apply any way that works for you:

  • Online
  • By phone
  • With in-person help
  • With a paper application

4. 2018 Open Enrollment runs from November 1, 2017 through December 15, 2017

  • Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2018.
  • After December 15, you can enroll in 2018 health insurance only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.