What If You Can’t Afford A Health Plan?

What If You Can’t Afford A Health Plan?

What If You Can’t Afford A Health Plan?

Lee esto en EspañolShopping for health insurance can bring a few questions to light, especially when it comes to money. You’re not alone in wondering how to afford health insurance. As you check out your options, remember there are resources available for you and your family to help pay for your coverage.

Prices of Health Plans

You have choices when choosing health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Based on your income, family size and the health plan you choose, you may qualify for federal financial assistance. This could help reduce --perhaps significantly-- your monthly payment. When you’re looking to enroll, you’ll have a variety of plans to choose from based on your budget and health care needs. You will be able to see what your health insurance plan will cost before you make a final decision to enroll.

There are two ways you may get help paying for coverage: a premium tax credit and cost-sharing assistance.

  • Tax Credits: The premium tax credit, also referred to as a subsidy, helps eligible people pay for their premiums, or the monthly cost of coverage. If you’re eligible, the credit can be paid in advance directly to your insurance company to lower your premium each month. Check the subsidy calculator to see if your income qualifies you for a tax credit.
  • Cost-Sharing Assistance: If you qualify for a premium tax credit and your income is below a certain level, you might also be eligible for cost-sharing assistance. Most health insurance plans have out-of-pocket costs that you pay when you see a doctor, have a medical procedure, or get a test. Cost-sharing assistance helps lower these costs. Depending on how much money you make, your health insurance may pay a greater amount of health care costs, reducing what you pay out-of-pocket.
Signing Up for Health Insurance

Open enrollment for 2023 coverage begins Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 15, 2023. The deadline to sign up for a plan that begins on Jan. 1, 2023, is December 15. If you miss open enrollment, you will either have to wait for the next open enrollment period for coverage, or qualify for a special enrollment period.

Original Publish Date: 12/17/2014; Revised 2020, 2021, 2022