How do I enroll in a health insurance plan in my state?

Everything you need to know about enrolling in a health insurance plan in your state.

What you need to know

There are three main ways you can enroll in health insurance in your state:

  1. The federal marketplace (Healthcare.gov) or your state marketplace
  2. A private marketplace (such as PolicyGenius)
  3. Your employer (if they offer health insurance)

Depending on your state, you can shop for qualified health plans on Healthcare.gov or your state's marketplace. The majority of states use Healthcare.gov; 13 states have built their own marketplaces:

Just make an account on the appropriate marketplace site, fill out a short application, and you'll be able to see, compare, and enroll in a health insurance plan.

No matter what state you live in, you can purchase health insurance through a private exchange such as Policygenius. Private exchanges can show you health insurance plans from Healthcare.gov and "off-exchange" plans. Off-exchange plans are still federally mandated to provide the ten essential benefits and follow other consumer protections written into the Affordable Care Act, but may be cheaper or provide a different plan structure from plans on Healthcare.gov.

Private exchanges like Policygenius typically walk you through the shopping and comparison process, allowing you to easily pick a health insurance plan and start the application online.

Your third option for purchasing health insurance is through your employer. The majority of Americans enroll in health insurance through their employer. Employer-provided plans are often subsidized by the employer, making them more affordable than similar private health insurance plans. You'll typically enroll in an employer-provided health insurance plan when you get hired or during your employer's open enrollment. Ask your HR representative for more information about your employer's health insurance benefits.