Frequently Asked Questions

These FAQs have been adapted from Get America Covered’s materials.

What is
  • is an easy to use website for people looking for affordable health care coverage that fits their budgets and needs. The 39 states on the federal exchange use
  • Spanish speaking consumers should visit
  • makes it easy to shop and compare the plans available in your area.
  • You can compare plan benefits and coverage prices and find out if you qualify for financial assistance.
  • has information on how enrollment works and what benefits are available, as well as videos and checklists to help people learn about their options and the steps they need to take to get covered.
What is the Affordable Care Act?

The Affordable Care Act is the comprehensive health care reform law enacted
in March 2010 (sometimes known as ACA, PPACA, or “Obamacare”).

The law has 3 primary goals:

– Make affordable health insurance available to more people. The law provides consumers with subsidies (“premium tax credits”) that lower costs for households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.
– Expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 138% of the federal poverty level. (Not all states have expanded their Medicaid programs.)
– Support innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care generally.


Learn more about health coverage rights and protections here.

Why is it important to get covered?
  • No one plans to get sick or hurt, but it happens. Health insurance from protects you and your family members from the unexpected.
  • All plans at cover free preventive care with no co-pay. This means free check-ups, and more.
  • All plans at also cover guaranteed essential benefits such as prescription drugs, maternity care, doctors visits and more.
  • No one can be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure or asthma. No American has to worry that losing a job will mean that he or she won’t qualify for health coverage.
  • With health insurance, insured Americans won’t be forced to put off a check-up or worry about going broke if they get sick.
Who can enroll in a health insurance plan through

If you don’t have health insurance through your job, Medicare, Medicaid or another source, helps you find and enroll in a plan that fits your budget and meets your needs.

How can people enroll in coverage?
  • Getting covered is easier than ever. Every year, the process of signing up for coverage gets simpler. You can even apply on your cell phone. It only takes about 10 minutes to submit an application.
  • There are many ways to select a health plan and enroll.
    • You can visit and sign up for coverage online.
    • If you have questions about signing up or want to talk through your options with a trained professional, free and confidential assistance is just a call or click away. You can call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800- 318-2596 or find local, in-person help by visiting our list of verified navigators.
    • You can also schedule an appointment with an expert who can answer questions and help you sign up. Make an appointment here.
When does Open Enrollment begin? What’s the deadline to sign up?
  • Open Enrollment for signing up for 2019 health insurance through began November 1, 2018 and ends on December 15, 2018.
  • Open Enrollment was cut in half, and there is only one deadline this year, so if you want coverage in 2019, you must sign up by December 15.
  • Consumers with existing marketplace coverage should come back to shop and review their coverage options by December 15, 2018 as new, better and more affordable plans may be available for them in 2019.
  • The final deadline to enroll for 2019 coverage is December 15, 2018.
How many people have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act so far?
  • Millions of Americans have signed up for coverage through They are benefiting from the peace of mind that comes with having quality coverage at a price they can afford.
  • 8.8 million signed up for coverage during the last Open Enrollment.
How can consumers get help if they have questions?
  • Free tools on and personal assistance on the ground in communities across the nation are available to make sure you feel confident that you’ve picked the right plan for you and your family.
  • If you have questions about signing up or want to talk through your options with a trained professional, free and confidential assistance is just a call or click away.
Is it true that people will have to pay a fee if they don’t have health insurance in 2018?
  • Having health insurance is the law so If you choose not to buy health insurance this year, you may need to pay a tax penalty of $695 or more.
  • 8 out of 10 people who purchase health insurance through qualify for financial assistance to help lower the cost of their premium.
What is covered by a plan on
  • Free preventive care: All plans at cover free preventive care with no co-pay. This means free cancer screenings, check-ups, and more.
  • Protections for people with pre-existing conditions: Millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions no longer have to worry about being denied health coverage or being charged higher premiums because of their health status.
  • Free or low cost health insurance: You can find out if you are eligible for low cost health insurance premiums at 8 out of 10 people qualify who enroll in coverage through qualify for financial help to make their premiums lower. And over 7 out of 10 can find a plan for as little as $50 per month.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Health plans in the individual and small group markets are required to cover ten categories of essential health benefits – including emergency services, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, and prescription drug coverage.
  • Emergency care: In an emergency, individuals are covered at any hospital location and his or her insurance company can’t charge more for getting emergency room services at an “out-of-network” hospital.
Won’t the law be repealed soon?
  • The Affordable Care Act is the law. While there has been a lot of talk about repeal, nothing has changed. You still must have health coverage or risk paying a penalty of $695. On November 1, you will still be able to visit and sign up for affordable coverage. You can still get financial help to lower your premiums and deductibles. And all of the plans must cover essential health benefits that keep you healthy and are there in case you have an accident or get sick.
  • When you sign up for health coverage during Open Enrollment, you are guaranteed a year of coverage with your insurance company so long as you keep paying your premiums.
How will I be impacted by the decision to stop funding Cost-Sharing Reductions?
  • “Cost-sharing reductions” is just a fancy way of talking about the help people can qualify for to lower their deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs.
  • It’s really important for people to understand that they will still get ALL of the financial assistance they qualify for, including cost-sharing reductions, despite the decision to stop funding these payments.
  • Even though insurance companies may have increased rates, the tax credit you receive increases too so you won’t have to pay any more for your coverage.

It’s important that people come back and shop – if you don’t receive a tax credit to lower your monthly premiums, there may be a plan that still meets your needs but saves you money.