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What if I don't currently have insurance?

You may be able to get help paying for your health insurance if you have limited income.

However, this help is only available to you if you buy your health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Open enrollment begins November 1, 2016 and ends on January 31, 2017. Your health insurance could begin as early as January 1, 2017.

Plans on the marketplace will cover a basic set of health services.

These services include things like doctor's visits, emergency room care, and hospitalization. Other services covered include: maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance abuse; prescription drugs; and laboratory services.

"Catastrophic" health plans are available to anyone under 30 years old or those who have very low incomes.

They cover basic preventive health care, but have very high out-of-pocket costs. Premiums for these plans are lower than other types of insurance plans. Catastrophic plans protect against major injuries or illnesses after the deductible has been met. If you buy a catastrophic plan you are not eligible to get help paying for your coverage.

If you do not buy health insurance, you may be charged a tax penalty when you file your 2014 income tax return.

In 2016, this penalty is $695 per adult, or 2.5% of your household income (whichever is greater, up to $2,085 per family). You will be charged a penalty for every year you do not have coverage. The penalty will be taken out of any tax returns you receive.

Some people won't be penalized if they don't have insurance.

This includes people with very low incomes, members of Indian tribes, members of certain religious groups, people in jail or prison, and anyone living illegally in the United States.

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