Tips to help you enroll in Marketplace coverage
Before you begin
When you apply for coverage, following a few tips can improve your online experience.
Use the best browser for your computer’s operating system.
Clear your cookies and clear your cache. (After you click on these links, see the content in the blue box at the bottom of the pages.)
Make sure your browser is set up to accept cookies. (After you click on this link, see the content in the blue box at the bottom of the page.)
You may not be able to complete an online application with a mobile device, like a smartphone or tablet. Try a laptop or desktop computer instead. Learn about your options if you don't have a computer at home.
When to use HealthCare.gov
For best results during open enrollment, try to use HealthCare.gov mornings, evenings, and weekends. The middle of the day is the busiest time for the site, which can sometimes mean slowdowns or waiting times.
Scheduled maintenance is sometimes performed overnight making parts of the system unavailable.
You can check the banner at the top of the homepage or the HealthCare.gov Twitter account anytime for alerts about the status of the Marketplace application.
Applying for coverage
Follow these steps to apply and enroll in health coverage in the Marketplace:
Create a Marketplace account on HealthCare.gov.
Fill out and submit an online application or download and complete a paper application. You can also apply by phone or in-person with an assister.
You’ll get a notice (in the mail or in an email) telling you what coverage you are eligible for – review and save it.
If you're eligible, shop for and enroll in a Marketplace health plan.
To complete your enrollment, send your first premium payment to the plan you chose.
Learn more about the 4 ways to apply for Marketplace coverage.
If you’ve created an account previously and have had problems with it, create a new account with a new user name, email address, and password. Be sure to clear your cookies and cache before you create your new account.
If you don’t get an email from the Marketplace to confirm your account, check your spam/junk mail folder. The message may have gone there. Its subject line will say “Marketplace account created.”
If you click on the link in the email and it doesn’t work, try to cut and paste the link into your browser.
To protect your personal information, you have to take a few steps to verify your identity before you can create a Marketplace account and complete an application.
If you encounter error messages or get stuck, try the following:
Be sure to enter your full name as it appears on your Social Security card and other official documents.
If your identity can’t be verified online, you’ll be told what to do next.
Comparing health plans
Having problems picking a plan? Here are 4 options for help:
Call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 (available 24/7). TTY users can call 1-855-889-4325.
Make an appointment with an in-person assister in your community – find one now
If you know what insurance company you want to work with, call them directly. The company may be able to enroll you in coverage directly.
Contact an insurance agent or broker.
Making your premium payment
Once you enroll in a plan, you must pay your first premium directly to the insurance company – not to the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Insurance companies handle payments differently. Follow the instructions from your insurer
IMPORTANT: Many insurance companies have extended the payment deadline to January 10, 2014. Some may require you to pay sooner. Check with your insurance company to find out when your first premium is due.
After you’ve checked with your insurance company to make sure you’ve enrolled and paid your first premium: