Skip to the content

The Affordable Care Act

In March 2010, President Obama signed comprehensive health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), into law.  Created by the Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance Marketplaces, also known as Exchanges, have been set up to facilitate a more organized and competitive market for buying health insurance. The Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment started October 1, 2013 and ends March 31, 2014. Coverage can begin as soon as January 1, 2014. Marketplaces will primarily serve individuals buying insurance on their own and small businesses. Federal subsidies in the form of premium tax credits will be available to consumers meeting income requirements to make the coverage more affordable.

Find answers to the most common questions about the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Gather the information you will need to apply.  Use the Marketplace Application Checklist to help you organize.

Enroll on Your Own


This is the place to apply for insurance, and the primary website for information about the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Assistance is available via Live Chat.

By Phone--

Health Insurance Marketplace: 1-800-318-2596     TTY users should call: 1-855-889-4325

The phone is anwered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

By Mail--

Print and complete a paper application and mail according to the instructions.

Family  Instructions
Individual Short Form Instructions
Individual Without Financial Assistance Instructions

Get Help to Enroll

Public Health Assistance at Madison and Dane County Libraries

Public Health staff will be available at certain public libraries to answer your questions, help you enroll, and assist you with filling out your insurance application.

Public Health/Library Enrollment Assistance Schedule (by Date) / Español

Public Health/Centro Hispano Enrollment Assistance Schedule

Access Community Health Center Assistance at the Dane County Job Center

Certified Application Counselors will be at the Dane County Job Center to help those wanting information on BadgerCare or the Health Insurance Marketplace, and to offer enrollment assistance, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

Dane County Department of Human Services Assistance at the Dane County Job Center

The Department of Human Services will hold Marketplace Insurance Enrollment Fairs

Thursdays, from 1 to 6 p.m., October 10 through December 26 (except for holidays)

at the Dane County Job Center:

Marketplace Insurance Enrollment Fairs

"Health Connect" is a program of the United Way of Dane County that may be able to help pay your cost of insurance if you are not eligible.

Phone Numbers

  •, Health Insurance Marketplace: 1-800-318-2596     TTY Users call: 1-855-889-4325
  • Badgercare Questions: Dane County Department of Human Services, located at Job Center, 1819 Aberg Ave
    • 1-888-794-5556
    • 242-7463
  • Public Health Madison and Dane County: 266-4821
  • Access Community Health (for additional application counselors): 443-5480                


Other information you might find helpful :

Summary of Insurance basics

Glossary of Health Coverage and Medical Terms Definitions and examples of usage of commonly used words used in describing health insurance options, like deductibles and out-of-pocket limits.

AARP Guide to the Health Care Law - for Consumers

Dane County Dept of Human Services

Public Health Madison and Dane County  Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Madison Public Library Affordable Care Act Resources Page

Summary of the Affordable Care Act   An excellent overview of the provisions of the ACA fromn the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Still have Questions? Call 1-800-318-2596, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (TTY: 1-855-889-4325) or connect with on social media: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Google+.