5 tips about the Health Insurance Marketplace
Here’s a quick look at the Health Insurance Marketplace (sometimes known as the health insurance “exchange” or “Obamacare exchange”).
See 2017 plans & prices now.
Answer a few fast questions to preview plans with personalized price estimates.
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 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 job-based insurance doesn't meet certain standards. Most job-based plans do.
2. 2017 Open Enrollment runs from November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017
3. What you pay for insurance depends on your income — and you’ll probably save
- If you have Medicare: You can’t switch to Marketplace insurance, supplement your coverage with a Marketplace plan, or buy a Marketplace dental plan.
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 between $50 and $100 per month (after accounting for their tax premium tax credit).
Based on your income estimate, we'll tell you if you qualify for:
A health insurance plan with savings
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. All plans cover:
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.
4. You can apply for coverage 4 ways
Apply any way that works for you:
With in-person help
With a paper application
5. If you don’t have health insurance, you may have to pay a fee
Most people must have qualifying health coverage or pay a penalty.
For 2016, the penalty is either 2.5% of your income, or $695 per adult ($347.50 per child) — whichever is higher. The fee rises with inflation. Final 2017 fees will be published soon.
Some people qualify for an exemption from the health insurance requirement.
IMPORTANT: Still need 2016 health coverage?
If you still need health insurance coverage for the rest of 2016, you can get it only 2 ways:
If you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period due to a life event — like losing health coverage, getting married, or having a baby.
If you qualify for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). You can apply for these programs any time.