Health Insurance FAQ

Frequently asked questions related to Obamacare, the health insurance marketplace, health plans for individuals, and more. Additional health insurance resources that may answer some of your questions include: Obamacare glossary, health insurance learning videos, and our comprehensive health insurance library.

A: When the open enrollment period (OEP) ends for the year you can still get health insurance coverage in a few ways:

  • If you have a qualifying event within the previous sixty days, you can qualify to purchase an Obamacare plan during the special enrollment period
  • If you are eligible for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) you can apply anytime and enroll immediately
  • You can purchase short term health plans any time of year to protect yourself from medical expenses that may arise from an injury or illness, but these plans are not qualified health plans and you may still have to pay the tax penalty for not heaving health insurance

A: If you were uninsured for all (or part) of the calendar year you may have to pay a penalty.

  • If you didn't have a qualified health plan in 2015 and didn't qualify for an exemption, you'll be required to pay a penalty (or fee) when you file your federal tax return for the year. For 2015, the fee was $325 per person ($162.50 per child) or 2% of your household income, whichever is greater.
  • For 2016, the fee increases to $695 per person ($347.50 per child) or 2.5% of your household income, whichever is greater.

A: A handy list of exemptions (for example: hardships, members of certain groups, etc.) can be found here. But to make sure, you can use the Obamacare exemption tool on

A: You can compare health insurance plans & rates free of charge right here at If it is outside the annual open enrollment period, and you do not have a qualifying event, we will provide you with personalized short term health plan quotes which will protect you until the next enrollment period begins. The quotes are 100% free and with no obligation. In addition, a courteous licensed healthcare professional can assist you over the phone — again with no obligation and 100% free of charge.

A: eligibility for income based subsidies is based on an applicants household income in relation to the Federal poverty level (FPL). Families with incomes between 100 – 400% of Federal Poverty level will generally qualify. An Obamacare Subsidy Calculator can help determine this for you.

A: To change health plans during the Special Enrollment period, you will need to have a qualifying life event such as, having a baby, getting married, or changing jobs. You would be eligible to change plans within 60 days of one of these events taking place.

A: If your parents plan covers dependents, you usually can be added to it and stay on the plan until age 26. When a parent applies for a new Obamacare health insurance plan through the Marketplace, they can include you on their enrollment application. Similarly, they can add you to an existing Marketplace health plan during the yearly Open Enrollment Period or Special Enrollment Period (SEP).