“How Health Insurance Works” video



In addition to the video, you can also download our “Get Insured. Stay Insured.” toolkit which has information and forms to help you get & use your health insurance. 

How to enroll in health insurance

1. Find out if you are eligible.

You are eligible to buy coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace if you:

• Are a US citizen or are legally present in the US and

• Are not currently in jail or prison


You may be eligible for help paying for your health insurance if you are eligible for Marketplace coverage AND you:

• Have a yearly household income that falls anywhere in the table below;


• Are NOT offered health insurance through your job OR the health insurance that is offered is more than 9.5% of your yearly household income and/or it does not cover at least 60% of the cost of benefits (This Employer Coverage and Tax Credits worksheet may be helpful, if you think this situation applies to you. Additionally, speak with your employer because you will need to show proof of what your employer’s plan costs and what it covers).


You may get financial help if your income falls between these amounts.

Income Range for the Open Enrollment Period (for 2017 Coverage) by Family Size

Single Person  $11,880 to $47,520

Family of 2  $16,020 to $64,080

Family of 3  $20,160 to $80,640

Family of 4  $24,300 to $97,200

Family of 5  $28,440 to $113,760


NOTE:  Open enrollment runs from November 1, 2016 through January 31, 2017. You may qualify for a special enrollment period, outside of open enrollment, if you experience a life-changing event such as marriage, birth, moving to another state, or a loss of coverage. To see if you qualify, go to www.healthcare.gov or call the Health Insurance Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596.


2. Gather the Information You Need to Enroll

Have this information ready when you enroll. Note that you will need this information for anyone listed on your tax return, even if you are only seeking coverage for yourself.

  • Income Documents: W2 or recent pay stubs, Social Security benefit letter, and information on any other income you receive — even if you don’t pay taxes on it
  • Employer’s information: Phone # and address
  • Citizenship & Immigration Documents: If you are not a US citizen by birth, you will need a citizenship certificate, immigration documents, refugee travel documents, green card, or other eligible status documents

3. How to Apply


• Go to www.healthcare.gov

• Create an account — you will need an email address for this

• You can complete your application and even select a plan online. You may be able to pay your first premium too.


By Phone

• Call 1-800-318-2596

• Complete the application with the phone representative

• The representative will tell you how much, if any, financial assistance you are eligible for and discuss the available plans. You can even select a plan over the phone.



• Visit LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov to find free in-person help in your area.

• Schedule an appointment with an enrollment assister, who will help you enroll.

• Bring the documents listed above to your appointment.

Share Your Story
Valerie Heard

Valerie Heard is a mother and a health care advocate. Medicare allows Valerie to see a doctor because of an eye disease that has left her blind. She's also able to get care for her other chronic diseases. "What human being could not have medical help? It's dire need--life or death."

Other Helpful Tools & Resources (21 items) Go to Library

Enrollment Assistance Exit Form


How Much Will Health Insurance Cost You?


Application Guide


Health Insurance & Taxes


Preventive Services


You’re Covered, Now What?


Special Enrollment Periods


Medicaid in Georgia


Health Insurance Complaints and Appeals


Penalties and Exemptions


Get Insured. Stay Insured.


Making Sure Your Insurance Is Still A Good Fit


How To Get Your Money’s Worth From Your Health Insurance


How To Get Health Insurance


Why You Need Health Insurance


How Health Insurance Works


Affordable Health Care for Your Children


Finding a Primary Care Provider


My Health Insurance User’s Manual


Health Insurance Options for Georgia’s LGBT Community


Health Care for People Living with HIV/AIDS