Affordable Care Act health plans

How to get started if you're looking for an ACA plan

There’s a lot of talk about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Health Insurance Marketplace. When the ACA started, Health Insurance Marketplaces (also called Exchanges) were set up. These marketplaces are designed to make it easier to shop for and compare health plans. The government manages the Marketplaces. They can be run by the state or national government — or sometimes the two work together.

If you’re looking for an ACA plan, you can explore the options below to find the coverage you need.

Find Health Insurance Marketplace coverage from UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare Exchange plans offer a variety of affordable, reliable coverage options. You can find plans available in your area at UnitedHealthcare Exchange plans or you can call 1-800-806-0451 TTY 711.

If you’re looking for ACA plans in New York or Massachusetts, visit or call 1-844-joinUHC to learn about plans available near you.

2021 open enrollment dates for ACA plans are Nov. 1 to Dec. 15, 2020

Most state Marketplaces are federally run and have 2021 open enrollment from Nov. 1, 2020 through Dec. 15, 2020. In some states, the state government runs the Marketplace, so the 2021 open enrollment dates may vary. For instance, open enrollment for Massachusetts is Nov. 1, 2020 to Jan. 23, 2021 and New York is Nov. 1, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021.

If you miss this window of time to purchase an ACA plan, there are some exceptions called qualifying life events that let you buy a plan during a Special Enrollment Period. 

View more important open enrollment dates

You may qualify for tax credits or other help to pay for health insurance costs

ACA (or Marketplace) plans are designed to give you basic health benefits. You can check to see if you qualify for help with paying for your plan. You can learn more at or call 1-844-joinUHC.

Depending on your family situation and annual income, you may be able to get a tax credit to help offset your health insurance costs. You can visit to see if you qualify for a tax credit before you start buying your plan.

Coverage for pre-existing conditions

Under current law, for ACA health plans that meet minimum essential coverage (MEC) requirements, health insurance companies can’t refuse to cover you or charge you more just because you have a “pre-existing condition” — that is, a health problem you had before the date that new health coverage starts. These rules went into effect for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014.

Looking for ACA tax forms?

With the ACA, there are three kinds of health care tax forms you may need in order to qualify for a health care tax credit. Here’s a little about each one:

Form 1095-A is the Health Insurance Marketplace Statement. You'll need the 1095-A form if you bought your health plan on the Marketplace.

Form 1095-B is a form from your health insurance company. It proves that you and your family have a plan that meets ACA requirements. You’ll need this if you did not buy your health plan on the Marketplace.

Form 1095-C is a form that comes from your employer. It’s the form you’ll need if you get your health plan through your employer.

Learn more about ACA tax forms from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

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Attention: This website is operated by United HealthCare Services, Inc. and is not the Health Insurance Marketplace website.