How to buy insurance on the Marketplace


Step 1 - Learn the Basics

In 2014, you must have health insurance coverage or pay a tax penalty.

Starting in 2014, every* American or legal resident will have to get health insurance coverage. If you don't, you will pay a tax penalty at the end of the year. How much? In 2014, you could pay $95 per uninsured person in your family up to $285 for the family. But by 2016, you might end up paying around $700 per uninsured person.

* Except for those with religious reasons, exemptions or those who can't find affordable health insurance.

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Step 2 - Find Out if You Can Get Help Paying for Insurance

Many people will qualify for subsidies, or tax credits on their insurance premiums. Use our chart or our online premium assistance tool to see if you may qualify.

Household size is the number of people living in your house.

Household income is the total income each of your family members makes in a year. If you make $40,000 and your spouse makes $20,000 in a household of 2, then your household income range is $60,000.

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Household Size Household Income Range
1 $11,490 - $45,960
2 $15,510 - $62,040
3 $19,530 - $78,120
4 $23,550 - $94,200
5 $27,570 - $110,280
6 $31,590 - $126,360
7 $35,610 - $142,440
8 $39,630 - $158,520
Each additional person + $4,020 - $16,080

Step 3 - Get Ready to Shop

To shop on the Marketplace you will need:

  • A personal email account. Learn about email services and how to get a free account
  • A Marketplace account that you can create at www.healthcare.gov beginning on October 1
  • Social Security numbers and birth dates for each member of your household who needs coverage on this plan
  • Employer and income information for every member of your household who needs coverage on this plan (pay stubs, W-2 forms, etc.)
  • Policy numbers for any current health insurance plans, if you have coverage

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Step 4 - Start Shopping

You can shop on the Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov from Oct. 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.

The marketplace is not the only place for you to buy insurance. You can also apply for and purchase insurance through an insurance agent.

Contact an authorized Blue Cross agent for expert advice.

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