What is health insurance?

Health insurance helps you pay for health care. This protects you from paying the full cost of care when you go to the doctor or hospital. Learn more about health insurance basics and who can sign up.

More FAQs

You may think you don’t need a health insurance plan if you get health care through Indian Health Services (IHS), a Tribal Program or an Urban Indian Health Program. Even if you obtain care through Native American health care systems, there are good reasons to get health insurance through the Marketplace. You can keep using your doctors and services, but you have more options if needed. Plus, when you have health insurance, you’re supporting Native American health care systems because health insurance pays for your care. That means more money for your clinic to serve Native Americans. This helps you and your community.
If you are a tribal member, you can enroll at any time during the year. You can even change your insurance once a month if you wish. Learn more about ways to enroll.
Premium subsidies can help you pay for health insurance. If you qualify based on your income, a premium subsidy can lower the monthly premium you pay. You may also save money on out-of-pocket costs. These are the costs you pay for going to the doctor or hospital, or for prescription drugs. In some cases, you may not have to pay anything for your health care.
The lower your income, the bigger the subsidy will be. You can use the beWellnm Subsidy Calculator to help figure it out. Before you start, you will need to know:
  • The amount of your annual household income
  • Number of family members who need insurance
  • Age of each family member
Native Americans who are members of a federally recognized tribe can change their insurance at any time. However, the process is different depending on whether it is an open enrollment period or not. Go to to read “How can I change plans?
Visit our Plan Finder page to compare health insurance plans.
Need more help? Meet with a Native American Enrollment Counselor near you who can help, at no cost to you.