What is the Marketplace?
Sometimes called the health insurance exchange, the Health Insurance Marketplace is one of several parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. You may know the ACA as Obamacare.
The Health Insurance Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov is where Virginians can go to:
- Compare qualified health plans
- Get answers to healthcare questions
- Find out if you are eligible for tax credits for private insurance
- Enroll in health programs like Medicaid and FAMIS (also known as Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP)
Enroll to Get Covered
Every health insurance plan in the Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov offers comprehensive coverage, from doctors to medications to hospital visits. You can compare all of your insurance options based on:
- Other features that may be important to you
You can pick a new plan during open enrollment. Open enrollment happens every year from November through January. The next open enrollment period will begin November 1, for health coverage that could start as early as January 1, 2018.
If you miss open enrollment, you may still qualify for a special enrollment period due to certain life changes. Visit www.HealthCare.gov for more information.
Enrollment in Medicaid and FAMIS (CHIP) can be done at any time during the year.
Medicaid and FAMIS (CHIP)
Enrollment in Medicaid and FAMIS (also known as Children’s Health Insurance Program or CHIP) can be done at any time. You do not need to wait for the open enrollment period.
For answers on how you qualify for Medicaid or FAMIS in Virginia, contact an eligibility worker at:
- City of Alexandria
Department of Community and Health Services (DCHS)
To apply for Medicaid or FAMIS, contact:
- Cover Virginia
Already Have a Plan?
If you are one of the millions of Americans who enrolled in a plan through the Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov, you can use your account to:
- Record a life changing event (marriage, birth of child, etc.)
- Learn what is covered under your plan
- Learn how to use your plan to improve your health
Live in Another State?
The Commonwealth of Virginia uses the Marketplace ( www.HealthCare.gov), a program created by the Federal government. However, some states, including Maryland and the District of Columbia (DC), created their own state-based exchanges. If you live in one of these states, you can access affordable healthcare through that state’s exchange.
- Live in Maryland? Visit the Maryland Health Connection at www.marylandhealthconnection.gov
- Live in DC? Visit the DC Health Link at www.dchealthlink.com
- Live in another state? Visit
Resources for Needy Families
- BabyCare - Free or reduced case management services for new or pregnant parents.
WIC or SNAP - Nutrition and food assistance to families with young children.
- Newcomer Health - Health services to help families that are new to the United States.
- Common Health - Provides eligible families help with health care, food, child care, heating and cooling bills and cash assistance.