Health Insurance Marketplace/Affordable Care


It has been three weeks since the start of the new Health Insurance Marketplace, where Americans, regardless of income or health status, can find   quality, affordable health coverage. The launch of the Marketplace website,, has been rocky but we are working tirelessly to make the online process better. And we are taking other steps to meet the consumer demand for affordable health insurance. There are four basic ways to apply for health coverage through the Marketplace, and I want to tell you about them.

  • Apply online. Visit to get started.
  • Apply by phone. Call 1-800-318-2596 to apply for a health insurance plan and enroll over the phone. (TTY: 1-855-889-4325)
  • Apply in person. Visit a trained counselor in your community to get information and apply in person. Find help in your area at
  • Apply by mail. Complete a paper application and mail it in.  You can download the paper application form and instructions from

Before you choose a plan, you may want to explore your options.  You can use this calculator to see if you qualify for lower costs on coverage and preview Marketplace plans here.
More people are applying and getting covered every day, and I often hear how the Marketplace has helped them.  It’s one of the best parts of my job.  Here are some of their stories:

  • Last week while on the road in Ohio, I met Keith Deaton, a Cincinnati realtor. Because of a preexisting condition, Keith has struggled to find health insurance that meets his family’s budget.  When I spoke with him, he told me how        excited he was to be able to shop for a plan that’s a better fit for him and his family.
  • Daniel, a student from Florida, was able to find high quality insurance for $70 dollars a month through  Affordable coverage is critical to students like Daniel who have to protect their health on a limited budget.

You can read more stories like these on our new page: You can also share your story using #GetCovered on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.
There will be countless more stories like these told in the coming months –   especially as we work to improve and enhance the online experience. They are inspiring reminders of how far we’ve come from the days when Americans without health insurance were locked out of the market.  And we will not   stop our work until we are done. 

Kathleen Sebelius
Department of Health & Human Services