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Understanding Health Insurance

These resources are for anyone shopping (or helping someone shop) for health coverage within the health insurance marketplaces created through the Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA or Obamacare).

In 2017, open enrollment began on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, and ended on Friday, December 15, 2017 in states. Most state-run Marketplaces held somewhat longer open enrollment periods, and extensions were available to people in FEMA-designated areas affected by recent hurricanes.

Open enrollment dates for 2018 have yet to be announced.

Individual Mandate Calculator

Use this new tool to estimate your penalty for going uninsured in 2018 vs. how much you would pay for health insurance coverage in the ACA marketplaces, based on your zip code, income, family size and age.

2018 Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator

Use this tool to estimate what your premiums and tax credits for 2018 Affordable Care Act marketplace coverage could be based on your zip code, income, family size and age.

Find Answers to 300 FAQs About Health Coverage

What is the health insurance marketplace? Am I required to buy health insurance? Get detailed answers to these and many more of your questions about the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces.

ACA Open Enrollment: If You Are Low-Income...

A short fact sheet outlines possible coverage options, including Medicaid and ACA marketplace plans.

ACA Open Enrollment: If You Buy Coverage in the Individual Market...

A short fact sheet provides information about 2018 ACA open enrollment and basics on marketplace plans.

Watch "Health Insurance Explained: The YouToons Have it Covered"

This animated video breaks down important insurance concepts, such as premiums, deductibles and provider networks.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 2400 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.