Frequently Asked Questions

A summary of the most frequently asked questions.

1.  What is Health insurance, and who needs it?  

        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 this year, almost everybody will be required to have some kind of health insurance. 

2.  How do I apply for health insurance?

       There are two ways to apply for health insurance.  You can apply online at or fill out a paper application.   You can also schedule an appointment with a certified application counselor to get help with the process.

3.  What information do I need to fill out the application?

        -  Social Security numbers for everyone who lives in your house OR document numbers for documented
        -  Income information – pay stubs or R W-2 forms
        -  Insurance policy numbers for household members who already have health insurance
        -  If a household member qualifies for health insurance through their job, fill out the Employer Coverage Tool    
           form at
        - If you or anyone in your household enrolled last year then bring any letters you have received either from your
          insurance carrier or the government to the visit

4.  What happens after I fill out the application?

      The Marketplace will tell you which health insurance plans you qualify for.  It will also tell you if you qualify for Medicaid, tax credits or other ways to lower the cost of your health insurance.  You can look at different plans and choose the one that is best for you.

5.  I have UNC Charity Care, why do I need insurance?

    UNC Charity Care is not insurance. It will help pay for certain services at UNC Hospital, but does not pay for medications or care at any other hospital or clinic. You will be required to fill out an application for Insurance and Medicaid this year before being approved for charity care.

6.  What if I don’t sign up for health insurance?   

    Starting in 2016, the penalty for not having health insurance will be $695 per family member or 2.5% of your total household income (whichever is higher)