Medical insurance for most people can be obtained through the health insurance marketplace run by each individual state, through a health insurance broker or directly from an insurance provider, states ObamaCareFacts.com. The health insurance marketplaces are mandated by the Affordable Care Act.
A state-run health insurance marketplace can only be used during certain open enrollment periods, but life-changing events that qualify an individual for health insurance that occur outside the open enrollment period enable an individual to use the health insurance marketplace during certain special enrollment periods, states USA.gov. There is always open enrollment for Medicaid, which provides health care for low-income families, children and the disabled, and for the Children's Health Insurance Program.
In addition, many people get health insurance through their employers, who pay for all or part of the coverage. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, known as COBRA, enables those who have left their jobs to stay on their employer's health insurance plans temporarily, states USA.gov.
Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act mandates that those who can afford health care but don't have it apply for an exemption or pay a fee based on a percentage of yearly household income, explains HealthCare.gov. The percentage changes yearly.