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Last updated: December 17, 2018

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This section tells you how to use the Marketplace to shop for and buy health insurance coverage.

What is Marketplace Coverage?

The Health Insurance Marketplace, or “the Marketplace,” is the website where you can shop for and choose health insurance. Illinois residents use HealthCare.gov to find health insurance plans on the Marketplace.

If you fill out a Marketplace application, you’ll find out if you can get lower monthly premiums or savings on out-of-pocket costs (e.g., co-pay, deductible) based on your income. You may also find out if you or members of your family qualify for Medicaid or All Kids (the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP, in Illinois).

How do I apply for Marketplace Coverage?

You can apply for coverage online at HealthCare.gov. You can also apply by phone, with in-person help (e.g., through a navigator, Certified Application Counselor, broker or other assister), or by mail.

You can shop for coverage every year during Open Enrollment (November 1 – December 15) or if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period during other parts of the year.

You qualify for a special enrollment period when you have certain life events, like losing health coverage, moving, getting married, having a baby, or adopting a child. You typically have 60 days before and after the event to apply for coverage with a Special Enrollment Period.

Click here next for advice on how to pick the Marketplace plan that is right for you.

Remember, if the system determines you are eligible for Medicaid, it will take longer to apply through the Marketplace. It’s a good idea to check if you should apply for Medicaid first.

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Need More Help?

If you need more help applying for Marketplace health coverage, you can:

-Go to a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) to get help.

-Call or visit HealthCare.gov: 1-800-318-2596

-Make an appointment to find a trained assister near you: