What if my income is too high to get lower costs on monthly premiums?

If you’re not eligible for lower costs because your income is too high, you can still buy health coverage through the Marketplace.

You can also get insurance outside the Marketplace--through a private insurance company, an online insurance seller, or an agent or broker.

Find information about these different ways to apply below.

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.

First: Find out if you’re eligible for lower costs

You could be eligible for lower costs on health coverage based on your income and household size. However, you generally won’t qualify if your estimated 2014 income is above:

  • $45,960 for an individual
  • $94,200 for a family of 4

The lower your income, the lower your costs. If your income is close to these limits your savings will be less.

To figure out if you may qualify for lower costs:

Four ways you can buy a health plan

If you don’t qualify for lower costs based on your income, you can get coverage 4 ways:

  • Directly from an insurance company. You can contact any health insurance company and see plans available in your area. Many have websites that let you compare all plans available from that company. You can also use our Plan Finder website, which presents information about private health plans available outside the Marketplace.
  • With the help of an insurance agent or broker. Agents generally work for a single health insurance company. Brokers generally sell plans from a number of companies. They can help you compare plans based on features and price and complete your enrollment. You don’t pay more by using an agent or broker. They’re generally paid by the insurance company whose plans they sell.
  • From an online health insurance seller. These online services offer health plans from a number of insurance companies. They let you compare prices and features and then enroll with the insurance company.
  • Through the Health Insurance Marketplace. You can apply and enroll through the Marketplace whether or not you qualify for lower costs based on your income.

Health plans inside and outside the Marketplace are similar

There’s one very important difference between plans sold inside and outside the Marketplace: The only way to get lower costs on your monthly premiums based on your income is through the Marketplace.