Health Insurance Blog -
2019 tax season is here! Here’s how to prepare
Thu, 16 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0500

Attention: 2019 tax filing season has started. Here’s what you can do now to get ready.

2019 tax forms

3 steps to get ready for 2019 tax filing:

  1. Look for Form 1095-A.

    • If you or anyone in your household had a 2019 Marketplace plan, you’ll get Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement in the mail by early February. It comes from the Marketplace, not the IRS.
    • It may also be available online in your account.
  2. Check Form 1095-A for accuracy.

    • You’ll use Form 1095-A to "reconcile" your premium tax credit if you used advanced payments of the premium tax credit to lower your monthly premium payment, so it’s important the information on it is correct. If you file with an incorrect version, you may need to file an amended return later.
    • Confirm things like your coverage and household information, monthly enrollment premium, and “second lowest cost Silver Plan” (SLCSP).
    • If you find errors, contact the Marketplace Call Center. We’ll send you an updated copy. Wait to file until you have it.
  3. Use your correct 1095-A to “reconcile.”

    • Now that you have an accurate 1095-A and second lowest cost Silver plan premium, you’re ready to fill out Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit.
    • See this step-by-step guide to reconciling for next steps.
Take advantage of free preventive services in 2020
Thu, 02 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0500

With Marketplace coverage, you have access to free preventive services, like flu shots, check-ups, and screening tests. Getting these recommended services is an important step toward good health and well-being.

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What are preventive services?

  • Preventive services are routine health care procedures, like screenings, check-ups, and counseling to prevent illnesses, disease, and other health problems.
  • Taking advantage of these free services can help detect illness early, when treatment is likely to work best, so talk to your provider about what’s right for you.
  • Note: Preventive services are free only when provided by a doctor or other provider in your plan’s network. (A network is the facilities, providers, and suppliers your health insurer has contracted with to provide health care services. Contact your insurance company to see which providers are “in-network.”)

Where can I learn more?

Now that you’re covered for 2020, don’t forget to pay your premium
Thu, 19 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0500

Congratulations on your enrollment in a 2020 Marketplace plan! Now that you’re covered, don’t forget to pay your monthly premium to your health insurance company (not the Marketplace) to activate your coverage. Your coverage won’t start until you do.

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If you don’t, your insurance company could end your coverage.{% endbox %}

Can I pay my premium online?

It depends. Each insurance company handles premium payments differently, so follow your plan’s instructions carefully. If you have the option to pay online, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Marketplace account.
  2. Choose your application under "Your Existing Applications."
  3. Click the blue button "Pay Your First Health Insurance Monthly Premium."
  4. Choose the green button "Pay for Health Plan Now" to go to your insurance company’s website to pay.

Not sure you’ve paid?

  • Find out if your health insurance is active by checking your online Marketplace account.
  • If you think you're enrolled but have questions about your plan, contact your insurance company. You can also check your plan materials. Your plan should send you a membership package with enrollment materials and a health insurance card.
2020 Open Enrollment is over, but you may have options
Mon, 16 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0500

Marketplace Open Enrollment for 2020 coverage ended December 15. If you missed the deadline, you may still be able to get or change 2020 coverage two ways:

Image: {Woman carrying moving boxes qualifies for Special Enrollment Period}

With a Special Enrollment Period

  • Since the 2020 Open Enrollment Period is over, you can now enroll in or change a Health Insurance Marketplace plan only if you have a life event that qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period.
  • A change in your situation, like getting married, having a baby, or losing health coverage, may make you eligible.
  • Answer a few questions to see if you may qualify.

Through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

  • Medicaid and CHIP provide free or low-cost health coverage to millions of Americans, including some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
  • You can apply for either program any time, all year. If you qualify, you can enroll immediately.
  • Select the second button and answer a few questions to see if you may qualify.

Learn more about your health insurance options outside Open Enrollment.

Last chance: The 2020 Open Enrollment deadline is days away!
Thu, 12 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0500

Time’s running out for 2020 Marketplace insurance! Open Enrollment for 2020 Marketplace insurance ends Sunday, December 15. This means you have only 3 days to enroll in, re-enroll in, or change a 2020 Marketplace plan.

Image: {Countdown clock for Open Enrollment deadline}

Act now for coverage that starts January 1

  • First time applying at Create an account.
  • Have 2019 Marketplace coverage? Log in to update your application and compare plans for 2020. If you don’t, you could miss out on new plans, and any savings could be wrong. This means you could end up paying more for your monthly premium or owing money on your federal taxes.

Need enrollment help?

Time’s running out! Update & compare Marketplace plans by December 15
Thu, 05 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0500

If you enrolled in Marketplace health insurance for 2019, you can renew, change, or update your plan for 2020 until Sunday, December 15, 2019. That’s less than 2 weeks away! If you miss the deadline, you may be automatically enrolled for 2020, but that’s not your best option.

Image: {Smartwatch flashing important reminder to update and compare plans}

Why update & compare for 2020 — even if you want to keep the same plan

  • New, affordable plans may be available this year. Just like people, plans and prices change every year. You may find 2020 plans with coverage and features that better meet your needs, especially if you’ve had or expect income or household changes.
  • Get the right amount of financial help for 2020. Savings are based on your expected income for 2020 (not 2019). If your information isn’t current, your premium tax credit and other savings could be wrong. This means you could end up paying more for your monthly premium or owing money on your federal taxes.
  • Sometimes you won't be automatically enrolled. You should enroll in an available plan by December 15, 2019 to be on the safe side.

How to change or renew 2020 coverage

  • Log in to update your application with your expected 2020 income and household information.
  • Compare your current plan with other available 2020 plans. If you want to keep your same plan, you should still update your information and check out all the plans available to you. If you don’t, you could miss out on savings and a plan that better meets your needs.
  • Learn more about changing and renewing coverage for 2020.
Why enroll in 2020 Marketplace coverage
Thu, 21 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0500

You may think you don't need health insurance, that it's too expensive, or not worth the trouble. While nobody plans to get sick or hurt, bad things happen, even to healthy people. The good news is that enrolling in a 2020 Marketplace health plan may be more affordable and easier than you think. You have until December 15, 2019 to sign up. Coverage starts January 1, 2020.

Image: {Friends stand together holding signs that read "More affordable and easier"}

You may be eligible for savings

Applying can be fast & simple

Only one month left to enroll in or change 2020 Marketplace coverage!
Thu, 14 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0500

Don’t delay: 2020 Open Enrollment ends December 15, 2019! This means you have just over one month to enroll in or change Marketplace health insurance for coverage starting January 1, 2020.

Image: {Clock ticking down to the 2020 Open Enrollment deadline}

Act now & apply

Enrollment help is available

Quickly find your 2020 Marketplace costs
Thu, 07 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0500

Open Enrollment for 2020 health insurance is here and ends Sunday, December 15, 2019. Find out in a matter of minutes what your costs may be by answering a few easy questions about you and your household. You don’t even have to log in.

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Will I save on a 2020 Marketplace plan?

Find out exact costs & savings when you apply

The 2020 Health Insurance Marketplace is open for business!
Fri, 01 Nov 2019 00:00:00 -0400

Starting today, November 1, you can apply for new 2020 health insurance, or renew, change, or update your 2019 health plan for 2020.

Image: {Woman applies for 2020 Marketplace insurance online at her laptop”}

{% box %} Important: You have until Sunday, December 15 to enroll, re-enroll, or change your coverage for 2020. After this date, you can enroll or change only with a Special Enrollment Period. Coverage under plans sold during Open Enrollment starts January 1, 2020. {% endbox %}

How to apply

  • You can apply at or through certified enrollment partner websites, by phone, with the help of a trained assister in your community, through an agent or broker, or with a paper application.
  • See the different ways to apply for 2020 health insurance.

Not quite ready? See plans & prepare

Preview 2020 plans and prices today!
Fri, 25 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0400

You can enroll in or renew a 2020 plan November 1 through December 15. You can start by previewing 2020 plans with personalized estimates. Note: You’ll see exact prices later on when you fill out or update your Marketplace application.

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How to preview 2020 plans & prices

More on 2020 Open Enrollment & plan shopping

Things to know about picking a plan before Nov. 1
Thu, 17 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0400

Before you apply for 2020 Marketplace health insurance starting November 1, there are several things to consider that’ll help you choose the plan that’s right for you.

Image: {Man and woman compare health insurance plans on computer"}

The 4 “metal” categories

  • There are 4 categories of health insurance plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
  • These categories show how you and your plan share costs. Plan categories have nothing to do with quality of care.
  • Get more information on Marketplace health insurance categories.

Health insurance plan & network types

  • Different types of Marketplace health insurance plans are designed to meet different needs. Some plans restrict your provider choices or encourage you to get care from the plan’s network of doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other medical service providers. Other plans pay a greater share of costs when you use providers outside the plan’s network.
  • Get familiar with the different plan types you’ll find in the Marketplace.

Total health care costs

See tips on choosing an insurance plan.

5 easy ways to prepare for 2020 Open Enrollment
Thu, 10 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0400

Open Enrollment for 2020 Marketplace coverage starts November 1, 2019. There are things you can do now to get ready, whether you’re applying for the first time or planning to re-enroll.

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How to get ready to enroll — quickly and easily!

  • Get familiar with the Marketplace by reading these quick tips. Find answers to your most common questions.
  • Download this checklist (PDF) to make sure you have everything you need. When you apply, you'll be asked about your household, income, and current coverage and may need to refer to specific documents, like W-2s, pay stubs, or tax returns. Gathering what you need now will save you time later.
  • Make a list of questions before it's time to choose your health plan. For example, "Can I stay with my current doctor?" or "Will this plan cover my health costs when I'm traveling?" Get tips on choosing a health insurance plan.
  • Set your budget. There are different types of health plans for different needs and budgets. You’ll need to figure out how much you’re able to spend on premiums each month, and how much you want to pay out-of-pocket for prescriptions or medical services. See how your total costs work together.
  • If you're planning to renew your current coverage for 2020, review your 2019 application to make sure it's still accurate. If it's not, update it with any income and/or household changes. This will save you time when you apply because your 2020 application will be pre-filled with your 2019 information.
Less than one month 'til 2020 Marketplace Open Enrollment!
Thu, 03 Oct 2019 00:00:00 -0400

You have less than one month until you can enroll in a 2020 Marketplace health insurance plan. Here are important dates to remember and some things you can do to get ready.

Image: {Countdown clock for 2020 Open Enrollment"}

Key dates & deadlines

  • The 2020 Open Enrollment Period runs November 1–December 15, 2019. This means you have six weeks to enroll in or renew a plan.
  • Plan coverage starts January 1, 2019.

How to get ready today for November 1

Stay ahead of the deadline with 2020 Open Enrollment reminders
Thu, 26 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0400

2020 Open Enrollment is almost here! You can apply for or renew your coverage November 1 through December 15, 2019. Sign up for deadline reminders, useful tips, and more so you don’t miss your chance to enroll.

Image: {Person uses smartphone to connect with for important updates"}

3 ways to stay connected with the Marketplace

  • Get important email or text updates. Visit the homepage, and enter your email address under “Get Important News & Updates.” Click “Sign Up.”
  • Connect with someone in your community who can answer your questions. Enter your ZIP code for a list of groups and people near you. Some even offer help in languages other than English.
  • Find us on social media. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for late-breaking news and important updates.
Key 2020 Marketplace enrollment dates & deadlines
Thu, 19 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0400

Open Enrollment for 2020 Marketplace coverage is less than 2 months away! Make sure you don’t miss the deadline by adding these important dates to your calendar:

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2020 important dates & deadlines

  • 2020 Open Enrollment starts Friday, November 1, 2019.
  • The last day to sign up for 2020 coverage is Sunday, December 15, 2019.
  • Coverage for people who sign up during Open Enrollment starts January 1, 2020.

Note: All 2019 Marketplace plans end December 31, 2019, no matter when you enrolled.

Need coverage for the rest of 2019?

You may have other options to get or change coverage outside the yearly Open Enrollment Period. Answer these questions to see if you can apply or change through a Special Enrollment Period for the rest of 2019. You can also enroll in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) anytime. If you're eligible, coverage can begin immediately.

3 benefits Marketplace health plans must cover
Thu, 12 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0400

All Marketplace plans cover essential health benefits, pre-existing conditions, and preventive care. This is true for all plan categories (all “metal levels,” including Catastrophic plans) and all plan types (like HMO and PPO). Starting November 1, 2019, you can enroll in or renew a plan for 2020, so you can continue to get these benefits.

Image: {A doctor explains what Marketplace plans cover to patient"}

What are essential health benefits?

  • Essential health benefits cover doctor’s visits, prescriptions, hospitalizations, pregnancy, and more. See the full list.
  • These benefits are covered by all Marketplace plans. Specific services covered in each broad benefit category may vary based on your state’s requirements.

Is treatment for my pre-existing condition covered?

  • All Marketplace plans must cover treatment for pre-existing medical conditions. This means no insurance plan can reject you, charge you more, or refuse to pay for essential health benefits for any condition you had before your coverage started.
  • If you’re pregnant when you apply, an insurance plan can’t reject you or charge you more because of your pregnancy.

Are preventive health services included with Marketplace coverage?

  • Marketplace plans cover a set of preventive services, like shots and screening tests, which are free to you when delivered by a doctor in your plan’s network.
  • There are 3 sets of free preventive services for adults, women, and children. Check out the lists here.

Note: Health plans can offer other benefits, like vision, dental, or medical management programs for a specific disease or condition. You’ll see exactly what each plan offers when you compare on

Can you get health coverage for the rest of 2019?
Thu, 05 Sep 2019 00:00:00 -0400

Outside the yearly Open Enrollment Period, you can only enroll in or change coverage if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period for a Marketplace plan, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Image: {A couple with new baby in a living room with moving boxes"}

{% box %} Important: Even if none of the options on this page work for you, you can apply for 2020 Marketplace coverage starting November 1, 2019.{% endbox %}

Do I qualify for a Special Enrollment Period?

If you experience certain types of life changes — like losing health coverage, getting married, or having a baby — you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in a Marketplace plan for the rest of 2019.

If you know you qualify, create an account or log into an existing one to start a Marketplace application. If you’re not sure you qualify, answer a few fast questions to find out.

Do I qualify for Medicaid or CHIP?

You can apply for Medicaid and CHIP any time of year.

To apply, fill out a Marketplace application or apply directly through your state Medicaid agency. Get more information on applying for Medicaid/CHIP.

Kick off the school year with health insurance!
Thu, 29 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0400

Nobody plans to get sick or hurt, but unexpected things happen even to healthy young people, so it’s important to get health insurance. As a college student, you have several options for coverage:

Image: {A group of college students enroll in health insurance on their devices”}

Student health plans & other options

Even if none of these options work for you, you can apply for 2020 Marketplace coverage starting November 1, 2019. Check back soon for more information.

When can I enroll in a 2020 Marketplace plan?
Thu, 22 Aug 2019 00:00:00 -0400

Here are some important 2020 Open Enrollment dates to mark on your calendar:

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Key 2020 Open Enrollment dates

  • The 2020 Open Enrollment Period runs from Friday, November 1, 2019, to Sunday, December 15, 2019.
  • If you don’t act by December 15, you can’t get 2020 coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
  • Plans sold during Open Enrollment start January 1, 2020.

Looking for coverage for the rest of 2019? Answer these questions to see if you can apply through a Special Enrollment Period. You can also enroll in Medicaid or CHIP any time, if eligible. Coverage can begin immediately.