You can apply for health coverage in the Marketplace 4 ways: with a paper application, online, by phone, or in person with an assister.
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Apply with a paper application
You can fill out a paper application and mail it in. You’ll find out whether you’re eligible for lower costs on private insurance, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Once you get your eligibility notice, you can either go online to compare, choose, and enroll in a plan or contact our call center. A customer service representative will help you.
If you or someone on your application are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, a representative will contact you to enroll.
Apply online in 4 steps
When you apply online, you’ll follow a 4-step process:
- Set up an account. Start by going to the Marketplace page. First you’ll provide some basic information. Then choose a user name, password, and security questions for added protection.
- Fill out the online application. You’ll provide information about you and your family, like income, household members, current health coverage information, and more. This will help the Marketplace find options that meet your needs.Important: If your household files more than one tax return, call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) before you start an application. This is a very important step. Please don’t skip it. Representatives can provide directions to make sure your application is processed correctly.
- Compare your options. You’ll be able to see all the options you qualify for, including private insurance plans and free and low-cost coverage throughMedicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Marketplace will tell you if you qualify for lower costs on your monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs on private insurance. You’ll see details on costs and benefits to help you choose a plan that’s right for you.
- Enroll. After you choose a plan, you can enroll online and decide how you pay your premiums to your insurance company. You must pay your premium by the date the insurer provides before your coverage can begin. Coverage can begin as soon as January 1, 2014. If you or a member of your family qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, a representative will contact you to enroll.
Learn what you can do to get ready to enroll. If you run a small business, here’s what you can do to get ready to offer coverage for your employees in the SHOP Marketplace.
If you have any questions, there’s plenty of live and online help along the way.
Apply by phone or with an in-person assister
To apply by phone, call 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). A customer service representative will work with you to complete the application and enrollment process.
You can also apply with the help of an assister who can sit with you and help you fill out a paper or online application. Read the next section for more details.
Find in-person help
In all states, there are people trained and certified to help you understand your health coverage options and enroll in a Marketplace plan. They’re known by different names, depending on who provides the service and where they’re located. All can provide the help you need with your application and choices:
- Application assisters
- Certified application counselors
- Government agencies, such as State Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) Offices
Insurance agents and brokers can also help you with your application and choices.
Visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov to find help in your area. You can search by city and state or zip code to see a list of local organizations with contact information, office hours, and types of help offered, such as non-English language support, Medicaid or CHIP, and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP).
Before you apply, preview plans and estimated savings
Before you fill out a Marketplace application, you can do 2 things to learn your options:
Use a cost and savings calculator to see if you may qualify for lower costs based on your household size and income.
Preview plans and prices available in your area.
By using both the Kaiser calculator and the plans and prices tool together, you’ll be able to see the plans and full prices available to you, and find out whether you’ll qualify for lower costs.
If your income is too high to qualify for lower costs, there are 4 ways you can buy a health plan.
Small business coverage: If you own a small business and want to apply for SHOP coverage for your employees, you’ll follow a different process. Begin that process now. Select your state from the drop down menu. Then click the green button to take the next step.
— Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the driving force in Congress behind Democratic passage of the health care law in 2010, issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court ruling:
"This decision is a victory for the American people. With this ruling, Americans will benefit from critical patient protections, lower costs for the middle class, more coverage for families, and greater accountability for the insurance industry.
The Affordable Care Act is already paying dividends for millions of Americans – with more to come:
•Children can no longer be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
•Seniors are paying less for prescription drugs.
•Students and young adults can stay on their parents’ plans.
•Being a woman is no longer a pre-existing medical condition.
In passing health reform, we made history for our nation and progress for the American people. We completed the unfinished business of our society and strengthened the character of our country. We ensured health care would be a right for all, not a privilege for the few. Today, the Supreme Court affirmed our progress and protected that right, securing a future of health and economic security for the middle class and for every American.”
BREAKING: The Supreme Court Upheld health care reform!
Your support helped us pass historic reform that is already benefiting millions of Americans.
Help us reach 500,000 strong for Obamacare: Sign the petition right now to stand with the President for the reform he made possible.
Karl Rove’s conservative super PAC, Crossroads Generation, released an ad attacking President Obama’s health care reform law. Its fast-talking narrator tries to mislead young Americans by making several false claims about the law and how it helps them access affordable, quality health insurance.
Here are the facts about what health reform does for young people and what they could lose if Romney repeals Obamacare:
The Affordable Care Act enables young Americans to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they’re 26 years old. The ad falsely dismisses this popular provision by arguing that states already allowed young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance before the law was enacted. The facts, however, tell a different story. While some states had pre-existing laws on the books, broad-based restrictions—including age limits, requirements for student status, and exclusions for married young adults—rendered the majority of young adults ineligible for coverage. In fact, the pre-existing state laws did not even apply to the 60 percent of U.S. workers who rely on private self-insured plans. President Obama’s health care reform eliminated these restrictions and extended coverage to 3.1 million young people who would otherwise be uninsured. As a result of the law, the proportion of insured adults ages 19 through 25 has increased to nearly 75 percent.
Obama for America | By Laura Wilson on June 21, 2012
Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could spend as much as 40 percent of your premium on administrative costs and overhead.
That’s changed thanks to Obamacare’s 80/20 rule: If your insurance company spends less than 80 percent of your premium on your health care, you get a rebate check. And this summer, 12.8 million Americans will start receiving those checks in the mail.
Think Progress | By Annie-Rose Strasser on Jun 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm
As the Supreme Court readies to announce their decision on the individual mandate portion of the health reform, it has emerged that the largest health care lobbying group in the country spent a total of $102.4 million in just 15 months to prevent Obamacare from becoming law in the first place.
In 2009 alone, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) pumped $86.2 million into a conservative lobbying group, the US Chamber of Commerce, to combat President Obama’s health care reform plan. But with the added months of 2009 prior to the ACA’s March passage, AHIP piled on an additional $16 million to be used against the bill.
That staggering total, which the National Journal’s Influence Alley uncovered today, was not out in the open — rather, the funds were transferred through a secretive process and listed only by the organization as ‘advocacy’ spending
Obama for America | Posted by Elizabeth Zaretsky on June 12, 2012
Medicare reports that 14.3 million seniors in America have already received important preventive benefits under President Obama’s health care law. In the first few months of 2012, seniors were able to take advantage of a number of preventative health services, including an annual checkup, without paying any deductibles or co-pays. “Thanks to the health care law, millions of Americans are getting cancer screenings, mammograms, and other preventive services for free,” said acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner. “These preventive services are helping people in Medicare stay healthy and lower their health care costs.” –Angela Guo