Each state has a Marketplace that is either run by the state (ex: CoveredCA.com), or the federal government (HealthCare.gov). The Marketplaces are intended to make shopping for health insurance easier and give individuals and small businesses access to the tax credits.
This section provides more information on the Obamacare Marketplaces including how to sign up for coverage, the different state Marketplaces, and the types of health plans offered on the Marketplaces.
Individuals signing up for coverage through the Marketplaces can follow these easy steps.
The first thing to do is set up an account with the Marketplace. This will either be a website run by your state’s government, or a federal marketplace website. To look up your state's marketplaces website visit www.HealthCare.gov.
Next, fill out an eligibility application. This application asks questions about family income, household size, current health coverage information, and more.
From the information you provide in this section, the Marketplace website will calculate eligibility for certain discounts on your health insurance premium, such as Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or the premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies.
The Marketplace website then displays plans for side-by-side comparison. Compare:
Tip: The monthly premium shown on the Marketplace website will have any discounts factored in. This amount reflect the actual amount due every month.
Once you select a plan, enroll online. Once enrolled you will provide payment information -- how you plan to pay your monthly premiums to the insurance company.
If you or a family member qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, a representative will contact you to enroll.
Here's the basic information you’ll need when filling out the application for individual health insurance. Be prepared with the following information:
*These questions will only be asked if you are applying for federal assistance (premium tax subsidies, cost-sharing, Medicaid, CHIP, etc.).
Under Obamacare, each state had the option to either create and operate an Exchange (a state-run Exchange), default to the federally-run Exchange (healthcare.gov), or partner with the federal Exchange to help.
The following states operate a state-run Exchange:
The remaining states use the federally-run Health Insurance Marketplace, www.healthcare.gov.
To help understand plan costs and coverage, Obamacare introduced standardized levels of coverage, called “metallic tiers of coverage.” These categories are intended to help you better compare plans “apples to apples.”
The four metallic tiers are Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze. A fifth category, Catastrophic, is also available to some individuals.
As the metal category increases in value, so does the percent of medical expenses that a health plan will cover.