The Health Insurance Marketplace is also referred to as the health insurance exchange or health care exchange.
Uninsured people can enroll in health coverage through the marketplace. Once you fill out a marketplace application you can find out if you qualify for income-based savings on private health insurance. You may qualify for savings on out-of-pocket costs based on the size of your household and income or for premium tax credits. All plans cover pre-existing conditions, essential health benefits, and some preventive care.
If you have a limited income you may qualify for free or low-cost health care coverage through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program(CHIP). Medicaid coverage has been expanded to many more people by the states. The Affordable Care Act allocated additional federal funds to the states and their Medicaid programs, allowing them to cover adults under the age of 65 who receive an annual income up to 133% of the federal poverty level. Eligibility for children is valid at that income level or higher in every state. In the past a number of other factors were taken into account when determining Medicaid eligibility but in states that have undergone Medicaid expansion, disability, family status and other things are no longer a factor. To find out if your state expanded Medicaid, click here.
Most people must have health coverage or pay a fee. If you don’t have coverage in 2015, you’ll pay a penalty of either 2% of your income, or $325 per adult ($162.50 per child) — whichever is higher.You’re considered covered under the health care law if you have anyjob-based plan, any plan you bought yourself, Medicare, Medicaid,CHIP, and many other kinds of coverage. See a full list of plans and programs that meet the health law’s coverage requirement.Some people qualify for an exemption from the fee based on income or other situations.3 more things to knowIf you’re eligible for job-based insurance, you can consider switching to a Marketplace plan. But you’ll qualify for premium tax credits and other savings based on your income only if the job-based insurance isn't considered affordable or doesn’t meet minimum value requirements.If you have Medicare, you’re considered covered and don’t have to make any changes. If you have Medicare, you can’t use the Marketplace to buy a supplemental plan or dental plan.You can buy a plan outside the Marketplace and still meet the health care law’s coverage requirements. But if you buy outside the Marketplace, you won’t be eligible for premium tax credits or other savings based on your income.