Learn general guidelines on how to get health insurance, whether you get it from your employer, the Marketplace, Medicare, Medicaid or as a supplement. 

Step 1: Determine your needs.

Start by looking at you and your family’s health insurance needs. Allow for typical expenditures that you typically spend on medical expenses each year, medications and your budget. Once you have some idea of the average amount you spend on health care, you can move on to the next step. 

Step 2: Learn about your options.

Go through all of your options for health insurance and determine which type works best for you, whether you choose an HMO, PPO, EPO or POS. If you’re eligible for Medicare, learn about your options there as well. (You must be 65 or older to qualify for Medicare.)

Step 3: Get a quote.

You may want to get right down to it and talk with a licensed insurance agent as you begin shopping for coverage. You can also shop for insurance online. You can also shop around among your employer’s plans. 

You can use a combination of strategies when you don’t have an employer option. 

Step 4: Choose a plan.

Once you’ve determined which plan meets your needs and found the best plan for you, you must enroll. Visit an online enrollment page or fill out the paperwork necessary to enroll in the right plan for you. Follow the step-by-step instructions or contact an agent for help.

Take note of the Open Enrollment Period, the part of the year when people can enroll in a health insurance plan. You can enroll in Marketplace health coverage through August 15, 2021, due to COVID-19, but job-based plans may have different Open Enrollment Periods. You want to check with your employer on the details.

You may also qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, which means you can enroll any time if you encounter certain life events: marriage, having a baby, a move or losing other health coverage.

You can apply and enroll in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at any time during the year.

Get the Right Health Insurance for You

Understanding your health insurance coverage options goes a long way to understanding the right health insurance option for you and your family.

Still not sure which option works best for you? Ask an expert — an insurance agent or another individual can help you understand your options. 


    College Savings Calculator is a hypothetical tool that demonstrates how monthly contributions, age-based asset rebalancing, and tax savings may impact the long-term value of your account, and do not take into account a portfolio’s underlying investment management fees. Calculations assume the private institution cost inflation is 2.8%, public out of state cost inflation is 3.9%, public in state cost inflation is 2.7%. Portfolio is assumed to have only stocks and bonds. Monthly equity returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the stock market (SPY). Monthly fixed income returns are based on the historical data from the 10-year track record of the bond market index (AGG). The current college expenses are provided by the collegeboard.org. Actual account performance may differ due to market fluctuations, changes in recurring investments, and asset allocation. The information provided here is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent actual or future performance of any investment option and is not intended to predict or project the investment performance of any security or index.