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Need health insurance, get covered now. If you haven’t applied for insurance on HealthCare.gov before, here’s what you need to know about the Health Insurance Marketplace (sometimes known as the health insurance “exchange” or “Obamacare exchange”).
1. The Health Insurance Marketplace is for people who don’t have health coverage
If you don’t have health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source that provides qualifying coverage, the Marketplace can help you get covered.
- If you have job-based insurance: You can buy a plan through the Marketplace, but you’ll pay full price unless your employer’s insurance doesn’t meet certain standards. Most job-based plans do meet the standards.
- If you have Medicare: You can’t switch to Marketplace insurance, supplement your coverage with a Marketplace plan, or buy a Marketplace dental plan. Learn about Medicare and the Marketplace.
Important dates for 2016 enrollment
- December 17, 2015: Last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start January 1, 2016
- January 1, 2016: 2016 coverage starts for those who enrolled or changed plans by December 17.
- January 15, 2016: Last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start February 1, 2016
- January 31, 2016: 2016 Open Enrollment ends. Enrollments or changes between January 16 and January 31 take effect March 1, 2016.
2. What you pay for insurance depends on your income
Your savings depend on your estimate of your expected income for 2016, not your income for 2015. Get a quick idea if your expected income is in the range to save.
A health insurance plan with savings
The plans are offered by private insurance companies with a range of prices and features. All plans cover:
You can add dental to a health plan, but you don’t have to. You can’t buy a dental plan unless you enroll in a health plan.