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").
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Still need health coverage for 2021?
Open Enrollment for 2022 runs Monday, November 1, 2021–Saturday, January 15, 2022. Enroll by December 15, 2021 for coverage that starts January 1, 2022.
If you still need coverage for the rest of 2021:
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- See if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to a life event, like losing other coverage, moving, getting married, or having a baby. You may also be able to enroll now if you got or were approved to get unemployment compensation in 2021. (The Marketplace will follow up with you shortly after you submit your application if you're eligible for this Special Enrollment Period.) If eligible, you may qualify for help paying for coverage, even if you weren't eligible in the past. Learn more about lower costs.
- See if you qualify for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You can apply for these programs any time.
1. 2022 Open Enrollment runs from November 1 through January 15, 2022
- Coverage can start as soon as January 1, 2022.
- After January 15, you can enroll in 2022 health insurance only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
2. The 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 coverage.
- 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.
3. What you pay for insurance depends on your income
Your savings depend on your expected household income for the year.
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 or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
4. You can apply for coverage several ways
Starting November 1, you can apply any way that works for you:
- By phone
- With the help of someone in your community
- Through an agent/ broker
- Through certified enrollment partner websites
- With a paper application
Use this checklist to gather what you’ll need to complete your application (PDF, 160 KB).