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How do I apply for Obamacare?

Everything you need to know about applying for Obamacare.

What you need to know

Obamacare is another name for the Affordable Care Act and is also used to refer to the subset of health insurance plans that require state and federal checks and that you may qualify for and use subsidies on.

This subset of health insurances plans may also be referred to as marketplace plans, as the health insurance marketplaces are the main way individuals apply for and purchase these plans. These health insurance plans are available on the federal and state exchanges as well as private exchanges that offer marketplace plans, such as PolicyGenius.

To see if you qualify for a subsidy, fill out the application on Healthcare.gov or your state exchange during Open Enrollment (November 1, 2016 - January 31, 2017) or during your Special Enrollment Period. The application will ask you about your projected income for the next year, as well as basic information about you, such as your address. With this information, Healthcare.gov will be able to tell you if you qualify for a subsidy, called a "premium tax credit," and how much that subsidy will be.

You can continue your health insurance search on Healthcare.gov or your state exchange, or shop through a private broker that also offers marketplace plans. Once you apply for and purchase a plan, you can choose to have your premium tax credit applied on a monthly basis, which will reduce the monthly cost of your health insurance plan, or on your tax return.

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