Get Health Insurance
“How Health Insurance Works” video
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 2019 Coverage) by Family Size
Single Person $12,140 to $48,560
Family of 2 $16,460 to $65,840
Family of 3 $20,780 to $83,120
Family of 4 $25,100 to $100,400
Family of 5 $29,420 to $117,680
NOTE: Open enrollment runs from November 1, 2019 through December 15, 2019. 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.
• 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.
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."