How to Get Health Insurance Through the Affordable Care Act

To get health insurance, individuals can apply through their state's health insurance marketplace online, by calling the number for the federal health insurance marketplace or by applying in person at a local office.

Several Application Options
There are four ways that people can apply for health insurance coverage in the United States, notes The first is securing healthcare coverage online. People who choose to apply online can either complete and submit a new application by creating a free account or submit an updated application for continuing coverage if they've previously used the state's online health insurance marketplace to register for healthcare coverage. The second option is to apply for healthcare insurance coverage over the phone. This requires simply calling the federal healthcare marketplace call center, notes This is a good option for people who have questions about what kind of coverage to get as a live customer service representative can help them decide. Some towns and counties have physical offices where people can stop in to apply for insurance coverage. This is another good choice for people who are not sure what type of insurance to get. An in-person application also allows people to complete the application and turn it in even before they leave the office. Lastly, people can fill out and submit a healthcare application via regular mail. They do so by downloading the healthcare application coverage and completing it via pen. They will be notified in two weeks about their coverage decision.

Applying for Coverage
When considering enrollment in a health insurance plan, people should leave plenty of time to shop around and explore all the options. The window for applying for health insurance coverage has a certain deadline that applicants must adhere to. In 2017, for instance, the deadline to apply for health insurance coverage in 2018 is December 15, 2017. People who miss the deadline may be eligible to enroll for healthcare coverage under special circumstances, notes This can include a special life event, such as marriage, the birth of a child, moving out of the state or losing or changing a job. If people miss the open enrollment period, they may also be able to apply for insurance coverage through a private insurance company, even if it's just on a temporary basis. Those who qualify for income-based health insurance may also be eligible for Medicaid coverage. When choosing health insurance plan through the marketplace, people have the option to shop around for insurance to look for quotes and coverage options, notes They can also use an insurance cost calculator, available through the organization's website, to determine whether or not they may be eligible for tax breaks based on their income levels.

Changing Plans
For a variety of reasons, people may decide that they want to change their insurance plan after the open enrollment period plan has passed. They may switch insurance providers or insurance plans during a special enrollment period, notes The process for completing a change in insurance is similar to the manner in which people apply for insurance coverage the first time around. They can request a change in plans either online through the marketplace website or over the phone by calling the marketplace call center. People are also allowed to cancel their insurance coverage during the special enrollment period.