- Marketplace Overview
What is the Health Insurance Marketplace?
The Marketplace is a new way to find quality health coverage. It can help if you don’t have coverage now or if you have it but want to look at other options.
With one Marketplace application, you can learn if you can get lower costs based on your income, compare your coverage options side-by-side, and enroll.
When you apply in the Health Insurance Marketplace
When you use the Health Insurance Marketplace, you'll provide some information about your household size and income to find out if you can get lower costs on your monthly premiums for private insurance plans. You'll learn if you qualify for lower out-of-pocket costs. You'll see all the health plans available in your area so you can compare them side-by-side and pick the plan that's right for you.
Most Americans are eligible to use the Marketplace. Learn more about Marketplace eligibility.
The Health Insurance Marketplace is sometimes known as the health insurance "exchange."
Apply online, by phone, or in person
You can apply for Marketplace coverage several ways: online, by phone, or in person with the help of a Navigator or other qualified helper. Telephone help is are available 24/7.
Ready to apply? There are several ways you can apply for coverage.
Open enrollment ends March 31, 2014.
What Marketplace plans cover
Insurance plans in the Marketplace are offered by private companies. They all cover the same essential health benefits. No plan can turn you away or charge you more because you have an illness or medical condition. They must cover treatments for these conditions. Plans can't charge women more than men for the same plan. Many preventive services are covered at no cost to you.
Find the Marketplace in your state
While all insurance plans are offered by private companies, the Marketplace is run by either your state or the federal government. Find the Marketplace in your state by using the menu at the bottom of this page. If your state runs its Marketplace, you'll use your state’s website, not this one.
Before you apply, preview plans and prices
Before you fill out a Marketplace application, you can preview plans and prices available in your area. Premium quotes shown reflect any lower costs you're eligible for based on your income and household size.
Questions? Call 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (TTY: 1-855-889-4325)
Get State Information
More Answers: The Health Insurance Marketplace
Can I apply for Medicaid and CHIP right now?
Yes. You may qualify for Medicaid now. Visit our Medicaid page to learn more. If you don't qualify now, your state may be expanding Medicaid in 2014 and you may qualify then. Fill out a Marketplace application to find out if you'll qualify in 2014.
The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will not be expanding in 2014. You can find out if you qualify right now.
If I have individual insurance, can I get Marketplace coverage instead?
Who's eligible for Marketplace health coverage?
Most people are eligible for Marketplace coverage. To get coverage through the Marketplace, you:
- must live in the United States
- must be a U.S. citizen or national (or be lawfully present)
- can't be currently incarcerated
Learn more about Marketplace eligibility.
What if my family has Medicaid or CHIP?
If you or your child has Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, you don't need to buy an insurance plan in the Marketplace. If you were to buy a Marketplace plan instead, you would have to pay the full cost.
What if I have Medicare?
You're considered covered under the health care law. Learn more about what people with Medicare need to know about the Marketplace.
What if I don't have coverage in 2014?
People who do not have coverage that qualifies as minimum essential coverage in 2014 may have to pay a penalty. They will also have to pay the entire costs of their medical treatment.
If I sign up for a plan through the Marketplace by March 31, 2014 but was uncovered before my coverage starts, will I have to make an individual shared responsibility payment?
No. As long as you enroll in a Marketplace plan by March 31, 2014, you won’t have to pay the penalty for any months you were uncovered in 2014 before your Marketplace coverage starts.
How can I get ready to apply?
Just answer a few quick questions and we’ll provide you with a personalized list of programs you may be eligible for, content you’ll want to read, and a checklist to help you get ready.
Remember, open enrollment started October 1, 2013. Coverage starts as soon as January 1, 2014.
If I have job-based insurance, can I get Marketplace insurance instead?
If you have insurance coverage through your job, you may still be able to use the Marketplace and get lower costs based on your income. There are many things to think about before you make this choice, however. Depending on the kind of coverage your employer offers, you may not be able to get lower costs based on your income.
Learn more about the Marketplace if you have job-based insurance.