Frequently Asked Questions

A summary of the most frequently asked questions.

What is Health insurance, and who needs it?  Is Charity Care Health Insurance? 

Answer: Health insurance helps you pay your healthcare costs.  Health insurance can help you pay for many different services, including preventive health like mammograms and vaccines and treatment of diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.  Starting in 2014, almost everybody will be required to have some kind of health insurance.  Even though Charity Care may lower the cost of healthcare, it is NOT health insurance.

How do I get health insurance?

Answer: Some people get health insurance through their jobs.  If you do not get health insurance through your job or it is too expensive, you can now get health insurance through the Marketplace.

What is the Health Insurance Marketplace? 

Answer: The Marketplace is a website where you can buy health insurance.   On the Marketplace website, you will fill out an application and find out what healthcare plans are available to you and your family.  Some people can get Medicaid or CHIP.  Others may be able to get low-cost health coverage plans.

How do I apply for health insurance?

Answer: There are two ways to apply for health insurance.  You can apply online at or fill out a paper application.   Let us know if you need a paper application!

What information do I need to fill out the application?

-          Social Security numbers for all household members OR document numbers for immigrants

-          Income information – pay stubs or R W-2 forms

-          Insurance policy numbers for household members who already have health insurance

-          If your employer offers insurance through your job, you need to fill out the employer coverage tool

What happens after I fill out the application?

Answer: The Marketplace will tell you which health insurance plans you can buy.  It will also tell you if you qualify for Medicaid, tax credits or cost-sharing reductions that will lower the cost of your health insurance.  You can compare the plans and choose the one that is best for you.

How do I choose a plan?

Answer: The Marketplace can help you compare plans based on what they cover and how much they cost.  You should think about what is important to you.  For example, if you already have a doctor, you should make sure that your new plan will cover your doctor. 

When is the deadline to apply?   

Answer: The deadline to apply is March 31, 2014.  If you apply by December 15, your insurance will start on January 1, 2014.