Where can I buy individual coverage?
You can buy individual coverage through:
- an insurer directly. (View a list of companies selling individual plans.)
- a licensed health insurance agent who has a relationship with one or more insurance companies.
- Healthcare.gov, the online federal health insurance Marketplace.
- Individuals, as well as small businesses, can find off-exchange plans using the Plan Finder on Healthcare.gov.
- a Navigator approved to assist individuals with Marketplace enrollment.
Note: If your family earns between 100 and 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), you may qualify for a premium tax credit to reduce the cost of coverage. This tax credit is only available when you purchase a plan through the federal Marketplace.
Learn more about premium tax credits
When can I enroll in individual coverage?
You can enroll for individual coverage during open enrollment, which runs from November 1 to January 31. If you miss open enrollment, you may not be able to enroll until the next year's open enrollment period unless you have a qualifying life event.
Learn more about open enrollment | Learn more about qualifying life events and special enrollment
What rights do I have shopping for a plan?
- cannot deny you health coverage during open enrollment.
- cannot deny you health coverage for pre-existing conditions.
- can only decide your premium rate based on three factors: your age, where you live, and if you use tobacco.
An insurer must provide you with plan summary documents that allow you to compare plans:
- a summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) provides plan provisions in a standard format,
- an outline of coverage provides similar information to the SBC, but may provide more detail, and
- health plan disclosures describe a plan's detailed terms and conditions, as well as other in-depth information on benefits, exclusions, and networks.
Other Coverage Options
- Employees commonly find group coverage through their employer.
- Young adults can stay on a parent's plan until age 26, and Texas requires companies to provide coverage for dependent grandchildren up to age 25.
- Students can ask their college or university about student health plans.
- Military service members may be eligible for coverage through TRICARE and other options.
- Families that can't afford private coverage may be able to enroll children in Children's Medicaid or CHIP. These programs also cover pregnant women.
- Most adults over the age of 65 qualify for Medicare.
- Individuals who have a disability may qualify for Medicare or Medicaid.
For more information contact:
Last updated: 01/06/2017