Understanding the Health Insurance Marketplace

The Health Insurance Marketplace allows you to compare benefit packages and prices. You can learn if you are eligible for a government-sponsored plan, and you can find out if you qualify for help paying for coverage you choose.

How to use the Marketplace

You only need to complete one application to get health coverage on the Marketplace. You can compare plan prices and benefits from different health insurance companies offering coverage on the Marketplace. You can enroll in a plan for 2018 on the Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov during open enrollment, from November 1, 2017, through December 15, 2017.

Coverage options available on the Marketplace

All plans on the Marketplace have similar benefits, and all include essential health benefits, but they differ on how the costs of the benefits are applied. People have different needs and different budgets so the plans on the Marketplace are divided into four different levels — Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. People can find a plan that fits them and their family. Depending on what you think your health needs will be, one plan may fit your situation better than another.


Lower monthly payments.
Higher cost when you receive medical care.


Higher monthly payments than a Bronze plan.
Lower cost than a Bronze plan when you receive medical care.


Higher monthly payments than a Silver plan.
Lower cost than a Silver plan when you receive medical care.


Higher monthly payments than a Gold plan.
Lower cost than a Gold plan when you receive medical care.