For the last two years I have purchased insurance through the Healthcare Insurance Marketplace. I don't qualify for any kind of group discounts or employer benefits as I'm self-employed. I filled out my application online, was accepted and shopped for insurance plans I felt would fit my needs, then called the helpline to have a representative make sure I did everything right. My savings were dramatic, I can actually afford to go to a doctor and a surgery or hospital visit won't put us in dire financial straits.
This year the process is even easier and I'm pleased to say I have adequate health insurance for a price I can afford for the next year. One thing I found out you have to watch carefully for is a letter from your current provider offering to automatically sign you up for the coming year if you wish to keep your current insurance at a greatly increased premium rate. No thank you. I'd rather spend a lazy Sunday afternoon shopping for insurance and saving a couple thousand dollars this year, thank you very much.