The government's goal is to make health insurance more affordable for everyone.

If your employer offers a plan that meets government standards and your employer pays part of the cost for your plan, most likely that's the best choice for you.

There are other ways health reform is trying to make health insurance more affordable:

  • The government has created standards for what are considered to be essential health benefits (see Expanded Coverage).
  • Individual Marketplaces– If you can't get a health insurance plan through your employer, you can buy a plan in the Individual Marketplace (see Health Insurance Marketplaces).

  • Financial Assistance– If you have a moderate or low income,1 you may also be eligible for government financial assistance (subsidy) to help pay for your plan, if purchased through the Individual Marketplace. Government subsidies pay for a portion of the monthly cost you pay for a plan (the premium). Subsidies can be taken as a credit against annual federal taxes, or as a credit against the monthly plan premium.

  • People with low incomes can also get subsidies to help with out-of-pocket costs, such as co-payments or co-insurance.


  1. The amount of financial help you can get depends on your family size and how much money your household earns.