Federal law requires most people to have a health insurance plan that meets minimum federal coverage standards or pay a tax penalty. Health benefit plans provided by your employer and most state or federal government health plans (Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, TRICARE, and some veterans' health programs) will usually satisfy the requirement.
Federal law exempts some people from the requirement to have insurance or pay a tax penalty. You might be exempt from the penalty if:
- You were uninsured for fewer than three months of the year.
- You qualify for a hardship exemption from the marketplace.
- The only coverage you can get would cost more than 8 percent of your household income.
- You have a household income below the tax-filing threshold ($10,000 for an individual).
If you don't have access to employer- or government-sponsored health coverage, you can buy an individual plan to cover yourself, or yourself and your family, during open enrollment from November 1 to January 31 of each year. February 15.You generally may buy only individual coverage during the open-enrollment period, unless you get married or divorced, have a baby, or experience another qualifying life event.
Health insurance companies must sell a plan to anyone who applies during the open enrollment period. Companies may not deny you coverage or charge you more because of a preexisting condition or disability.
When deciding your premium, insurance companies may consider only your age, where you live, whether you smoke or use tobacco, and whether the coverage you're buying is for an individual or a family. They may not consider your health status, medical condition or history, claims experience, genetic information, gender, disability, or other health factors.
You can buy directly from insurance agents or brokers!