Health Insurance Marketplace

Meeting Women’s Needs Through the Health Insurance Marketplace: What You Need to Know

woman patient having pulse rate checked by medical professional

The Marketplace is a new way to find quality health insurance. In the Marketplace, you can compare different plans based on price, benefits, quality, and other features important to you. You can choose the combination of price and benefits that fit your budget and meet your needs. Most people are eligible for health coverage through the Marketplace, which is available in every state.

With one Marketplace application, you can:

  • Choose and compare health plans that cover essential health benefits, pre-existing conditions, and preventive services.
  • Enroll in health coverage. If you already have insurance, you may be able to lower your costs.
  • Learn about Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) that covers families with limited incomes.

To learn more about the Marketplace and how it works, check out Get Covered: A One-Page Guide to Health Insurance CoverageExternal.

Women’s Health Preventive Services

Marketplace health plans and many other plans must cover preventive services for women without charging a copayment or coinsurance. Preventive services for women include, but are not limited to:

  • Breast cancer screening (mammography)
  • Cervical cancer screening (Pap test)
  • Contraception
  • HIV and STD screening and counseling
  • Osteoporosis screening (bone density)
  • Well-woman visits

Women’s preventive services are covered even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible. To learn more about these services, visit Preventive Health Services for WomenExternal.

Pre-Existing Health Conditions

Learn how the Marketplace helps you get affordable coverage, even if you have a pre-existing condition. A pre-existing condition is a health problem you had before the date the new coverage starts. In the Marketplace:

  • Being sick doesn’t keep you from getting coverage.
  • You can’t be refused coverage or charged more just because you are a woman or have a pre-existing health conditionExternal, like cancer or being pregnant.
  • Once you are covered under an insurance plan, coverage for pre-existing conditions begins immediately.

To find out how you can get health coverage with a pre-existing condition, visit What if I Have A Pre-Existing Health Condition?External

Essential Health Benefits

Essential health benefits are minimum requirements for all plans in the Marketplace. Plans may also offer additional coverage. Benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Preventive and wellness services
  • Pediatric services
  • Emergency services
  • Hospitalization (such as surgery)

Shopping For Coverage

To enroll for health coverage through the Marketplace, take a look at the video on how to choose a plan. The video explains:

  • How to enroll for health coverage through the Marketplace.
  • Different coverage options that are offered, and allows you to choose the best plan for you and your family.
  • What the different plans include, and you can find out about insurance premium estimates at Get Plan Information in Your AreaExternal.

You’ll need to submit an application to the Marketplace to find out your actual costs and savings. Before applying make sure to have income and household information readily available. To see a list of required information you’ll need visit, What Income and Household Information Do I Provide When I Apply for Marketplace Coverage?External

How to choose a plan video

Once You’ve Enrolled

Making sure that you and your family have quality and affordable health care coverage through the Marketplace is one of the most important decisions that you will have to make. Once you’re enrolled, find out your next steps get answers to next stepsExternal get answers to common coverage questionsExternal at

To buy insurance outside open enrollment, you must qualify for a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event such as marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, or loss of a job.

How to Get More Information

There are many ways to apply and enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace: online, by phone, or in person. You can also:

Page last reviewed: September 8, 2017
Content source: Women's Health