2018 Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Guide | H&R Block

November 07, 2017 : Diamond Lambert

The thought of selecting a new health insurance premium is often considered a daunting task. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to select the coverage you need and the marketplace tax credit you deserve.

Let’s review the methods of registration available within, and outside of, the health insurance marketplace to claim your best health coverage tax credit.

 

Online Registration

The online application is easily the most accessible method for reviewing 2018 coverage premiums and health coverage tax credit options available through the HealthCare Marketplace.

The process begins by first determining if you hold coverage from the prior enrollment year or if you are accessing the marketplace for the first time. After verifying your marketplace status, you can easily navigate the application process located here.

 

Enrollment By Phone

If you do not have immediate Internet access or prefer the advice of a healthcare.gov agent, you can call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. The call center team is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week with the exception of major federal holidays.

Before contacting the Marketplace Call Center team, it’s highly advisable that you take time to create a healthcare.gov account. There’s a handy checklist located here that can help to expedite the phone process. By proactively taking these steps, your over-the-phone enrollment process should ideally go as smoothly as possible.

 

In-Person Assistance

Starting with a quick ZIP Code search, you can easily map local in-person assistance. There are two face-to-face resources offered in partnership with the HealthCare.gov Marketplace.

The first method involves meeting community-specific assisters who partner with local groups and community initiatives. This service is available free-of-charge and exists as a resource for individuals who need step-by-step guidance.

The second method involves endorsing the services of an insurance agent or broker. These licensed individuals are able to complete the enrollment process from initial sign-up to final purchase.

 

Registration Via Mail

For those who prefer to file early, and time is not of the essence direct mail may be the best option. The printable version of the 2018 coverage application, found here, is also available within the Special Enrollment Period or SEP. The application and PDF instructions should be made available by or before November 1, 2017.

The SEP is available “outside the yearly Open Enrollment Period” which extends access to health insurance enrollment to citizens across the U.S.  You may have also heard of “qualifying life events.” Examples include marriage, birth or adoption of a child, loss of coverage altogether, or moving.

Your premium eligibility results, including your marketplace healthcare tax credit, should be communicated via direct mail within 2 weeks. Please visit healthcare.gov for more details.

Related Topics

Related Resources

Health Savings Account & Flexible Spending Account

Learn more about the HSA versus the FSA and get tax answers at H&R Block.

Health Insurance Options After 26

When you turn 26, you may reach the age limit of your parents' health insurance. Learn about your options for getting health insurance after 26 at H&R Block.

What are Marketplace Hardship Exemptions and How Do You Qualify?

Afraid of owing a penalty for not having health insurance? See if you qualify for the hardship exemption with the experts at H&R Block.

[UPDATED] How to Choose Between Marketplace Plans for Health Insurance

Marketplace health insurance options fall into five categories. Which one is right for you? Learn more at H&R Block.

Diamond Lambert

Diamond Lambert

Diamond Lambert, M.Sc., is a marketing manager within the advertising and brand team. She is a graduate of Franklin University holding a master's degree in marketing and mass communications. Her contributions include a mix of IRS tax news, lifestyle pieces, and consumer information.