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Health Insurance Blog - Healthcare.gov

3 ways to use your new Marketplace coverage

Now that you’re enrolled in a health plan for 2019, you can use your new coverage for regular and emergency care, prescription drugs, and preventive care.

Image: {Doctor wraps patient’s injured arm with bandage}

Getting regular & emergency care

  • You usually pay the lowest costs for services when you see a doctor who has a contract with your health plan. Visit your health plan’s website and check their provider directory to see which doctors are covered.
  • In an emergency, you should get care from the closest hospital. Your insurance company can't charge you more for getting emergency room services at an out-of-network hospital.

Getting prescription medications

  • Your health plan will help pay the cost of certain prescriptions. Visit your insurer’s website or review your plan’s Summary of Benefits and Coverage to see which prescriptions are covered by your new Marketplace plan.
  • Different health plans allow you to get your medications from different pharmacies. Call your insurance company or visit their website to find out if your regular pharmacy is in-network.

Getting free preventive care

Get more information on using your new coverage.



POSTED JANUARY 17, 2019
Ring in the New Year with free preventive services

Starting in 2019, take advantage of the free preventive services — like flu shots and screening tests — available with your Marketplace plan.

Image: {A variety of medical equipment, including stethoscopes and syringes}

What are preventive services?

  • Preventive services are routine health care procedures that include screenings, check-ups, and counseling to prevent illnesses, disease, and other health problems. These services can help detect illness early when treatment is likely to work best.
  • Preventive services are free when delivered by a doctor or other provider in your plan’s network.
  • Visit your health plan’s website and view their provider directory for a list of the doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers that your plan contracts with.

What services are covered?

Get more information on preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management.



POSTED JANUARY 03, 2019
See if you may still qualify for 2019 insurance

For most people, the deadline to enroll in 2019 health insurance has passed. But there are two ways you may still be able to get 2019 coverage:

Image: {Doctors assist patients with their medical needs}

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.
  • If eligible, your coverage can start right away, any time of year. Medicaid and CHIP don’t have Open Enrollment Periods.
  • Learn more about Medicaid and CHIP, including how to apply.

Through a Special Enrollment Period

  • Outside Open Enrollment, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you have certain life events, like losing health coverage, moving, getting married, having a baby, or adopting a child.
  • If you qualify, you usually have up to 60 days following the event to enroll in or change a plan.
  • Not sure your life event makes you eligible? Just answer a few fast questions to find out.


POSTED JANUARY 03, 2019
Pay your premium: Make sure your coverage starts January 1

Now that you’ve enrolled in 2019 Marketplace insurance, you must pay your monthly premium for your coverage to start. You pay your premiums directly to the insurance company.

Image: {Dollars and coins above banner text about paying premium}

How to pay your premium

Each insurance company handles premium payments differently. Follow your plan’s instructions about how and when to pay your premium. Make sure you continue your monthly payments. If you don’t, the insurance company could end your coverage.

You may be able to pay your monthly premium online at HealthCare.gov. Follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Marketplace account.
  2. Click your name in the top right, and select "My Applications & Coverage." Choose your application under "Your Existing Applications."
  3. Click the blue button "Pay Your First Health Insurance Monthly Premium."
  4. If online payment is available, choose the green button "Pay for Health Plan Now" to go to your insurance company’s website to pay.

If your health insurance company doesn't accept online payment, they should have contacted you with next steps. Reach out to them if you haven’t received details on how to pay or aren’t sure if you paid.

Learn more about completing your enrollment by paying your premium.



POSTED DECEMBER 20, 2018
2019 Open Enrollment is over, but you may still have options

If you missed the Open Enrollment deadline and didn’t enroll in 2019 Marketplace health insurance, you may still be able to get coverage for 2019 two ways:

Image: {Woman packing up boxes to move}

Enroll in or change 2019 plans with a Special Enrollment Period

  • If you experience certain life changes, like losing health coverage, getting married, or having a baby, you may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. This means you may be able to sign up for health insurance at other times during the year.
  • See the full list of life events that may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period.
  • Not sure whether your life event qualifies? Answer a few questions to find out.

Apply for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) any time of year

  • Medicaid and CHIP provide free or low-cost health coverage to millions of Americans, including some people with limited income, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities.
  • If you qualify, your coverage can start right away, any time of year.
  • Learn how to apply for Medicaid and CHIP.


POSTED DECEMBER 16, 2018
Time’s running out for 2019 Marketplace insurance

Open Enrollment for 2019 Marketplace insurance ends next Saturday, December 15. This means you have just over one week to enroll in, re-enroll in, or change a 2019 Marketplace plan.

Image: {Man running to beat the deadline clock}

Beat the December 15 deadline

  • First time applying at HealthCare.gov? Create an account.
  • Have 2018 Marketplace insurance? Log in to update your application and compare plans for 2019. If you don’t, you may be automatically re-enrolled for January 1, but you'll miss out on other options. New plans may be available, and your financial assistance may not be correct.

Questions? Help is available



POSTED DECEMBER 06, 2018
Important: Update & compare plans by December 15

You can renew, change, or update your Marketplace plan for 2019 until December 15, 2018. That’s about 2 weeks away! If you don't update your application and enroll in a plan by the deadline, you may be automatically enrolled in a 2019 plan. While automatic enrollment is a good fallback, you may want to choose another option.

Image: {Man uses computer to update his application and compare plans online}

Log in, update & compare

  • Log in to your HealthCare.gov account to update your application with your expected 2019 income and household information.
  • Compare your current plan with other available 2019 plans. You may find a new 2019 plan with coverage and features that better meet your needs — especially if you’re expecting income or household changes.
  • Even if you want to keep your same plan, we strongly recommend that you 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 better suited for your lifestyle.
  • Learn more about changing and renewing coverage for 2019.


POSTED NOVEMBER 29, 2018
3 reasons to enroll in 2019 Marketplace coverage

Staying healthy is important. This Thanksgiving, give yourself the peace of mind that comes with having health insurance. You have until December 15, 2018 to enroll in or change health insurance for 2019.

Image: {Doctor fixes man's broken leg}

Why bother with health insurance?

  • Health insurance provides financial protection in case you have a serious accident or illness. For example, a broken leg can cost up to $7,500. Health coverage can help protect you from high, unexpected costs.
  • With Marketplace coverage, you’ll get access to preventive services — like shots and screening tests — at no cost to you. Getting recommended preventive services is a key step to good health and well-being.
  • When you apply for insurance using the Health Insurance Marketplace, you’ll find out if you qualify for savings that can make insurance less expensive. Before you apply, select your household size, state, and income range to see if you may qualify for financial help.

Ready to apply? See the different ways to apply for 2019 health insurance.



POSTED NOVEMBER 21, 2018
2019 Open Enrollment ends in one month!

Attention: Open Enrollment ends December 15, 2018. You have just one month to enroll in or change Marketplace health insurance for 2019.

Image: {2019 Open Enrollment ends in one month}

Take action & apply

Questions? Help is available



POSTED NOVEMBER 15, 2018
Get a quick idea of 2019 savings and costs

You have until December 15, 2018 to enroll in or change 2019 Marketplace health insurance. Before you apply, get a quick idea of what your costs may be.

Image: {Calculator estimates income to see if in range to save}

Is your income in the range to save?

Ready to apply?



POSTED NOVEMBER 07, 2018

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An intensive care doctor ordered “significantly excessive and potentially fatal” doses of pain medicine for at least 27 near-death patients in the past few years after families asked that lifesaving measures be stopped, an Ohio hospital system announced after being …

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California OK’s Pot Deliveries into Communities that Ban Sales
California has endorsed a rule that will allow home marijuana deliveries statewide, even into communities that have banned commercial pot sales. The regulation by the state Bureau of Cannabis Control was opposed by police chiefs and other critics who predict …

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California Insurance Commissioner Names Executive Team
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PG&E Says It Won’t Commit to Paying Settlements With 2015 California Fire Victims
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