What if I'm self-employed?

If you're self-employed with no employees, you're not considered an employer. You can use the individual Marketplace to find coverage that fits your needs.

How to know if you’re "self-employed"

If you run an income-generating business with no employees, then you're considered self-employed (not an employer) and can get coverage through the Marketplace. You’re not considered an employer even if you hire independent contractors to do some work.

If you have employees (generally, workers whose income you report on a W-2 at the end of the year) you’re considered an employer. Then you could get coverage for yourself and your employees through the SHOP Marketplace. Learn more about how to determine if you have employees.

Marketplace coverage for the self-employed

You can use the Marketplace to find affordable health coverage that works for you. When you apply, you’ll find out whether you qualify for lower costs on your monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs on private health insurance in the Marketplace.

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.

You can use this tool to preview plans available to you and see how much you may pay based on your income.

All Marketplace plans cover essential health benefits, pre-existing conditions, and free preventive services.

If you have individual coverage now

If you already have individual insurance--a plan you bought yourself, not the kind you get through a job--you may be able to change to a Marketplace plan. Learn more about changing individual insurance plans.

Lower costs for coverage

You may qualify to get lower costs on your monthly premiums when you buy private health insurance in the Marketplace.

When you fill out a Marketplace application, you'll learn if you qualify for these lower costs. Depending on your income, you may also qualify to for lower out-of-pocket costs, so you won't have to pay as much for deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.

Medicaid and CHIP

When you fill out a Marketplace application you'll also learn if you or your children qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You may qualify for these programs right now.