March 31 Deadline for Health Care Exchanges Nears

The deadline to obtain a health care plan through the Health Insurance Exchanges, or Marketplaces, is rapidly approaching. As part of the Affordable Care Act, each individual must have health care coverage by March 31 or risk a tax penalty. The Exchanges are state-based marketplaces through which individuals and small employers can purchase health insurance. People who live in states that do not have marketplaces may purchase a health care plan through the federal exchange at

The Exchanges are designed for those who currently purchase insurance in the individual market. This group will include, for example, early retirees (pre-Medicare eligible retirees), the self-employed, individuals whose employers do not provide insurance, or those who cannot afford their employer’s insurance.

If you have Medicare, you do not need to obtain coverage through your state’s Health Care Exchange. Medicare qualifies as health care coverage under the ACA and isn’t part of the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Click here to learn more about the Exchanges.

Visit to learn more about your health coverage options.

Date originally posted: March 21, 2014.