The federal Health Insurance Marketplace, which is also called the “Marketplace” or “Exchange,” is the website where individuals can browse various health care plans available under the Affordable Care Act.

Generally open enrollment for the marketplace occurs every year from November 1, thru January 15th. The Health Insurance Marketplace will have many different health insurance plans from many different health insurance carriers in one place. The plans will have different benefits and different premiums.

The health insurance marketplace offers tax credits that can be used to help make the premiums more affordable. There are eligibility and income requirements to receive the tax credits. See below for a few:

Individuals must meet the following criteria in order
to be eligible for premium credits:

You must file income taxes. While premium credits can be distributed directly to the insurer in advance, they must be reconciled through one’s individual tax returns. Married persons must file a joint tax return to receive the credit.
Individuals who have little or no tax liability may be eligible for premium credits. You must enroll in a Marketplace Exchange Plan. Persons who are residing in a state with an established Exchange and are not incarcerated or undocumented aliens maybe eligible.
You must not be eligible for other acceptable coverage. Premium credits will be available for individuals who do not qualify for minimum essential coverage available through Medicare, Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Programs, CHIP, coverage related to military service, or an employer-sponsored plan that meets affordable & essential benefits tests. If your employer “offers ” affordable coverage, you are not eligible for a tax credit.