Before you can apply for enrollment in a health insurance plan, there are a few things you need to ask yourself:

  • Who can I get coverage from?
  • When am I allowed to sign up?
  • What do I need to do to begin enrolling?

Who can I get coverage from?

Before you can sign up, you need to see what kinds of insurance you might qualify for to learn who can give you or your family health insurance.

When am I allowed to sign up?

When you can sign up for health insurance (called the window for enrollment) depends on the type of insurance you want. There are different times depending on how you are getting coverage.

I can help you with health insurance by sending you the right information at important times throughout the year.

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You can also enroll in health insurance after you or your family go through certain changes in your life, called qualifying life events. These are opportunities to adjust your coverage to fit your needs.

Examples of qualifying life events

  • Birth or adoption of a child
  • Death of a child or placement for adoption
  • Change in marriage status (married, divorced, legal separation, annulment)
  • Change in employment (hired for new full-time job, loss of job, retirement, etc)
  • Loss of coverage from private insurer
What should I consider when making changes?

What should I consider when making changes?

Prepare yourself to sign up for health insurance

What do I need to begin enrollment?

Before you sign up, collect some information to keep with you while enrolling:

  • Social Security Numbers for your family members
  • Any current policy numbers
  • Cost of current coverage (premiums and what you have paid for services out of your own pocket)
  • A list of your current doctors and facilities (hospitals, clinics)
  • A list of any prescription medicines you or your family are taking
  • Individual and family income

Print or download a helpful worksheet for this information

Ask your boss or human resources office if you can get health insurance through your job. If you are married to a full-time employee, or if you are a child under the age of 26, you may be able to get coverage through your employed family member.

Go to

Open enrollment for 2017 begins November 1, 2016 and ends on January 31, 2017.

Residents of every state will have access to the Marketplace and Patient Navigators that can help you. There will be a 3-page application you can also use to find out if you qualify for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Sometimes, if you are qualified, you are automatically enrolled to get some benefits of Medicare. Sometimes you have to sign up yourself to get some or all of the coverage Medicare can give you.

The different parts (A, B, C, and D) have different enrollment periods and different ways to sign up. Sign up as soon as you are eligible to avoid a penalty for as long as you have Medicare.

Go to for more details on how to sign up.

Visit to learn more about the different parts of Medicare.

For more information about Medicare and its parts, download the full Health Insurance and You PDF.

Every state is different. Call your state's Medicaid office for information about applying. Go to to find the toll-free number. For more information, you can also visit

In some states, you can apply online. In others, you can apply at your local social services office, health department, or Social Security office. Be sure to ask what you need to bring with you.

  • Go to
  • Call 1-877-TRICARE (1-877-874-2273)
  • Talk to your commanding officer

If you would like to use the services offered by the IHS instead of using health insurance, go to You will have to prove that you are a registered member of a tribe.

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