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Image description: There are only a few weeks left to sign up for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Visit HealthCare.gov to find your options.

Image description: There are only a few weeks left to sign up for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Visit HealthCare.gov to find your options.

Health Insurance Open Enrollment Ends March 31

If you are seeking health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, be sure to apply before the end of the open season on March 31, 2014.

If you haven’t enrolled by March 31, you won’t be able to apply until the next open season, unless you qualify for a special enrollment period or experience a qualifying life event. Open season for 2015 will likely begin on November 15, 2014.

You can enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at any time. There is no limited enrollment period for these programs.

Today’s the last day to sign up for health coverage that starts January 1st.

Enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace by Dec. 23 for Coverage Beginning Jan. 1

If you’d like your health coverage to begin Jan. 1, be sure to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace by Dec. 23.

There are four ways to apply for health insurance through the Marketplace: online, by phone, in person, and by mail.

Although Dec. 23 is the deadline for coverage beginning Jan. 1, you can apply for Marketplace coverage after that. Open enrollment runs through March 31.

The Health Insurance Marketplace: What It Offers and How to Register

When applying for health insurance, you usually have to share personal information with each private insurance company to find out how much a potential health plan costs. In the Health Insurance Marketplace, you have a simplified way of finding health insurance, comparing plans and reviewing coverage options from different providers.

In the Health Insurance Marketplace, you will need to share your personal information just once and you’ll get:

  • the ability to compare different insurance companies and buy the health insurance plan of your choice
  • if you qualify, a new tax credit to help pay premiums for health coverage based on income level
  • if qualified, support for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program for Children (CHIP) based on income level

It is important to know that when you apply for health coverage through the marketplace, you need to give more information than is required by individual insurance companies. Additional information is needed to provide medical coverage based on income. In the marketplace, you will have to share the social security number of each family member, income information, details of your employer and any insurance you may have, including Medicare insurance.

By law, each person must have health insurance in 2014 or will pay a fine ($95 per adult, $47.50 per child or 1 percent of your income, whichever is the higher amount).

Ways to Register

There are four different ways you can register for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace:

By Mail: Download the instructions (PDF) and application form (PDF). Complete your application and submit the form to:

Health Insurance Marketplace

Department of Health and Human Services 

465 Industrial Blvd

London, KY 40750-0001

By phone: Call 1-800-318-2596, available 24 hours a day, or 1-855-889-4325 (TTY).

In person: To find local help, search by city and state or zip code.

Online: You can apply online at healthcare.gov.

The open enrollment period in the Health Insurance Marketplace began on October 1, 2013 and ends on March 31, 2014.

Remember that no medical coverage obtained will begin before January 1, 2014.

Read this post in Spanish.