First, you should visit HealthCare.gov to see if you qualify for premium tax credits based on your income, which can significantly lower the cost of coverage. Plans available through HealthCare.gov are also guaranteed to provide the Affordable Care Act’s protections, including a comprehensive set of benefits and limits on cost-sharing that can save you money when you access health services.
If you do not qualify for premium tax credits to purchase plans on HealthCare.gov, you can still purchase coverage there, or you can try to shop for similar coverage that still provides the Affordable Care Act’s protections outside of the marketplace. To access these plans, contact your state’s Department of Insurance for a list of reputable brokers that can help you shop for Minimum Essential Coverage.
There may be other coverage options available outside of the marketplace that do not provide the Affordable Care Act’s protections. These include plans that are not traditional health insurance products, including short-term, limited duration insurance, association health plans, health care sharing ministries, and Farm Bureau plans. If an insurer or entity cannot provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage that indicates coverage is Minimum Essential Coverage, be aware that the plan may have coverage limitations, particularly for pre-existing health conditions or for basic medical care. Always insist on getting plan documents to review prior to buying a plan.