As of 2015, to be eligible to receive health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace that President Obama's Affordable Care Act established, one must be a U.S. citizen or national and live in the United States, explains HealthCare.gov. A national is someone who is lawfully present in the country. Individuals who are incarcerated are not eligible to receive health insurance through the Marketplace.
Although the Affordable Care Act requires most U.S. citizens to have health insurance, not everyone must apply for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace, notes HealthCare.gov. Those who have insurance through an employer, Medicaid, Medicare or the Children’s Health Insurance Program are sufficiently covered within the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. People who have insurance through an employer may opt to obtain a plan through the Marketplace, but they are not eligible for any income-based financial assistance and must pay the full price on the plan they select.
Most people must apply for a Health Insurance Marketplace plan during the open enrollment period for the year in which they are applying, states HealthCare.gov. Certain circumstances qualify one to obtain insurance during a special enrollment period past the usual enrollment deadline, however. Examples of these special circumstances include becoming newly wed, losing a formerly held health insurance plan and having a baby.